South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Curator - Holburne Museum


The Curator works alongside the Director, Exhibitions Co-ordinator and Assistant Curator as part of a small permanent team complemented by temporary staff and volunteers, making a significant contribution to the planning and implementation of an ambitious programme of exhibitions and displays and overseeing the care of the collection. They are, in addition, integral to the larger Holburne team, making an important contribution to the organisational vision and strategy, and their implementation, including to the Museum’s commercial and fundraising activities and its communication.

Main Responsibilities

Display & Exhibitions

• Developing and managing temporary exhibitions and installations.

• Working with the Director and other colleagues in the strategic planning of future temporary exhibitions.

• Planning and delivery of collection displays in the Museum’s galleries, with appropriate interpretation.

• Fluently communicating the exhibitions through the written word and in person.

Collections Care & Development

• Leading the care and conservation of the substantial collection of fine and decorative art, consisting of over 4,000 objects dating from classical times to the 21st century.

• Understanding conservation requirements and managing any projects undertaken with external conservators.

• Supervising the storage of objects in the reserve collections to recommended museum standards.

• Maintaining a relevant Collections Policy and researching and identifying potential loans and acquisitions for the Museum and preparing applications for purchase grants as required.

• Management of loans to and from the Museum.

• Cataloguing collection to Spectrum standards, as set out in the Documentation Plan.

• Development of the Collections Management System and commissioning and supervision of photography of the collection for the Collections Management System and publications.

• Ensure adequate representation of the collection online. Research • Undertaking research into the collection and understanding the historical, aesthetic and contextual significance of the objects within it.

• Understanding and interpreting the core collection of the museum, created by Sir William Holburne.

• Assisting students, researchers and members of the public with enquiries about decorative art in the museum’s collections and elsewhere.

• Developing and maintaining a specialist standing beyond the Holburne.

Teaching, Training and Advocacy

• Assisting with the training and support of the Museum’s staff, volunteer stewards and guides.

• Supervising and training a small team of part-time volunteers working on cataloguing and collections care according to the Museum’s volunteer policy.

• Developing and delivering teaching and research programmes in liaison with the region’s Higher Education Institutions, as set out in the Museum’s Higher Education Strategy.

• Working with the Museum’s Learning team in the planning and delivery of educational activities as required.

• Acting as an advocate for the Museum with stakeholders including scholars, dealers, lenders, collectors, and existing and potential donors and supporters; contributing to audience development.

• Working with the Fundraising team to secure support for exhibitions and the collection.


• Degree in art history or a related subject, or the equivalent experience. Postgraduate qualification desirable.

• Excellent broad knowledge of the history of art with a recognised area of specialism.

• Demonstrable knowledge and interest in contemporary art and craft.

• At least two years’ Museum experience or similar.

• Sound working knowledge of current standards of collections care and museum practice; ability to assess conservation requirements.

• Excellent written and spoken communication skills and a demonstrable ability to interpret art successfully and confidently for a wide range of audiences.

• Good computer skills; proven ability to use an electronic collections management system.

• Practicality and versatility with the ability to work within a small, dynamic, friendly and committed team.

Submission by application form only please (no CVs) Application forms and job description can be found at

Organisation name: Holburne Museum, Bath

Contact name: Vanessa Wells

Contact email:

Contact phone number: 01225388546

Contact website:

Type: Full-time (permanent)

Salary: c. £27,000 p.a.

Location: Bath

Deadline for completed applications: Thursday 05 December 2019

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