Head Curator

Head Curator
Employer: National Trust
Salary: £60,000 pa
Location: Swindon

Our remarkable collections are held across hundreds of properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They include outstanding internationally important textiles, decorative arts, furniture and paintings and other works of art, as well as highly significant industrial, photographic, archaeological and archival collections. As part of an on-going investment into our curatorial expertise we now have an exciting opportunity for a Head Curator to lead our team of national curatorial specialists.

Our ambition to curate at a national scale and develop our research priorities has seen us provide more investment to our collections, and this critical role will help to bring this important work to fruition.

What it's like to work here
Our properties include around 250 historic sites open to visitors; (comprising 145 accredited museums), they are internationally renowned for their beauty and the significance of their historic collections. However, we continually seek to improve their research and interpretation, raise standards of curatorship and presentation, and develop innovative approaches to providing sustainable access to visitors, scholars and researchers. We also look for new ways to develop our staff and volunteers knowledge, skills and confidence, to engage our visitors with the fascinating stories which these collections can tell about our houses and their former occupants.

You will lead a team of National Specialists, building on our existing expertise and further developing our curatorial training across the organisation. You will provide inspirational leadership to a team of specialists and advisors who have responsibility for paintings, libraries, furniture, gardens, textiles, photography and decorative arts.

This is a nationally focussed role, as such we are flexible on the location, but you will be based out of our Head Office in Swindon, you'll be expected in Heelis for around 2 days a week

What you'll be doing
As the Head Curator, you will lead your team by engagement and support with cataloguing projects, acquisitions, advisory service, and policy work as well as through continuing professional development. You will develop an energetic culture of collaboration and innovation, working across the whole structure of the Trust, connecting property teams with central specialists and volunteers.

You will lead for research, supporting the reputation of the National Trust through professional publications, national public programming and wider curatorial engagement. You will help identify national research priorities in collaboration with the research team, and lead by example, undertaking research and sharing best practice nationally.

You will take the inspirational lead on generating and supporting projects that deliver outstanding curatorial research, particularly where we can create opportunities to better understand our collections, broaden our knowledge and skills within collections care and interpretation and challenge disciplinary silos. You will work closely with the Head of Collections Management to ensure we have consistent collections standards and appropriate accreditation across the organisation.

Who we're looking for
In order to be successful in this role you will need to have:

Strong leadership skills and good experience of line management
The ability to motivate, inspire and lead teams, including senior curatorial professionals
Expertise in the curatorial profession with relevant qualifications (Subject specialist Masters Degree and or Doctorate) or equivalent experience
Excellent communication and influencing skills and the ability to manage a wide range of stakeholders
Significant experience of building and developing strong relationships
Experience of budget and project management and clear planning processes
A collaborative and innovative approach to curatorial interpretation
Extensive experience in commissioning and undertaking academic research

Learn more about this position

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