A Peek into a Day in the Life of a Curator
Efforts to preserve cine film are being made throughout the world. Part and parcel of this endeavor is the role of a film museum curator. Let us look briefly at the skills and responsibility of a film museum curator.
In any notable museum, primary function of a curator is that of a subject specialist. They are expected to conduct original research on objects and guide the organisation in the collection of films and film material. A curator may also oversee the staff involved in the physical care of the museum exhibits and archives, thereby fulfilling an administrative task as well.
As an expert on film technology and history, a curator will also have the responsibility of selecting, interpreting, and cataloging recordings. This includes writing labels, essays, and other supporting content for exhibitions. Due the nature of the job, people with a master’s degree or a doctorate in the subject are selected as curators, and they are also expected to have contributed to their academic field, mostly through writing and speaking. He/she will definitely be required to write articles in professional journals, present lectures at other institutions, participate in professional arts organisations, and jury works, as appropriate, so experience in this regard will help.
Apart from academic education, a curator also needs to keep tracks of the latest developments in film technology and collections process, as well as best practices. Although not a requirement, but curators are usually expected to know more than one language, and they should have some travelling experience as well.
The latter is important, because international travel is not uncommon for the film curator. They not only travel cross-country for acquiring films, but also to attend film festivals as well. Film curators, need to be diplomatic in order to successfully partner with a diverse population of highly talented, technical experts throughout the world. This also calls for excellent communication skills and sound judgment. Likewise, a film curator also needs to hosts such events as well and so keeping a track record of planning, programming and producing major exhibitions becomes part of the job description.
Ultimately, a curator in a film museum/library needs to be committed to the art, and should have the capabilities of excelling the art form in a professional environment, teaming up with associates, and popularizing the work in the general public.
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