What is the Role of the Curator in Contemporary Art World?

Curators are one of the most important figures in the contemporary art world. In the last twenty years they have become kind-of a rockstars and their labor has been subjet both to analysis and critics thanks to their increasingly power in defining the course of art. However, despite all the glamour behind the public relations, what are the key funcionts of a serious curator?

According with the Tate and its famous art-term dictionary, the curator “is someone employed by a museum or gallery to manage a collection of artworks or artefacts. Museums and galleries typically employ numbers of curators whose role it is to acquire, care for and develop a collection. They will also arrange displays of collection and loaned works and interpret the collection in order to inform, educate and inspire the public.”

On its part, MoMA museum defines curator as “A person whose job it is to research and manage a collection and organize exhibitions.” Both instituions points out the main and most important mission of a curator, which is to manage museums art collections and make them public trough exhibitions and public programs. However, the 21st Centry came along with different changes for the art world as well as for curators, who work now not only for museums or art institutions but as freelances.

Having this context in mind, here are five of the most important missions of art curators nowadays:

1. Conserve and manage art collections

2. Create dialogues between artworks and reality


3. Develop public and educational programs

4. Articulate discourses and narratives through works of art

5. Keep the study of works of art updated