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Curator – Modern and Contemporary
Curator - Modern and Contemporary
The Government Art Collection, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
Post Date: 06 Sep 2022


About the job

This team is one of five in the Arts, Heritage and Tourism Directorate at DCMS, which is responsible for arts, museums and galleries, libraries, cultural property heritage, cultural diplomacy, tourism, the Festival 2022 and the Government Art Collection.

The GAC selects works of art for display in working government buildings, including 10 Downing Street and British embassies worldwide. The role of the GAC is to promote British art and contribute to cultural diplomacy. Spanning six centuries and encompassing Tudor panel portraiture to contemporary works in diverse media, there are over 14,000 works of art in the Collection. The GAC is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

For more information, visit our website https://artcollection.culture.gov.uk/

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 12th September 2022

Salary £35,038 – £39,587

Contract type – Permanent

Job Description

The Government Art Collection has moved into new premises and is expanding its public engagement highlighting its unique role to promote British art through the Collection, in key governmental buildings in the UK and across the world.

This role is within the curatorial team, working alongside the Curator (pre-1900) and Curator (Public Engagement).

Managed by the Head of Curatorial and Public Engagement, the Curators play a key role in Collection research, delivering interpretation for displays and exhibitions, contributing to the Collection’s live and digital public engagement programme.

The Curators work with the Head of Curatorial planning ahead and taking independent action to develop curatorial concepts; and work with internal and external stakeholders to instigate more in-depth fact finding and analysis for the Collection.

These include GAC artists, artworks and displays, locations abroad and the Collection’s impact on the wider remit of soft power/ cultural diplomacy.

When required, the Curators will oversee the curation, project management and interpretation of displays and exhibitions; and coordinate with colleagues on related public engagement activities.

The Curatorial team lead on the Representation of the People Project and this role will require fulfilling objectives and evaluation for the project. Communication and collaboration is key to this role, working closely with the Curatorial team and all Collection colleagues.

Representing the Collection and DCMS as the main point of contact when working with external partners; entails providing advice on procedures e.g. managing new relationships with organisations in the HE, cultural and private sectors (eg City of Culture, Borough of Culture, Festival). Supporting senior management decision-making on partnerships and development through the provision of briefings, presentations and the compilation of written reports with appropriate recommendations.


Collection Research and Interpretation

  • Researching and writing interpretative material (information packs, labels, wall panels, web texts) focusing on works from the Collection for displays in Government buildings and loans.
  • Reviewing information provision at selected central London Government departments and representing the Collection at meetings.
  • Contribute to the evaluation and application of stakeholder research to enable more effective use and monitoring impact of Collection resources.
  • Writing, producing and publishing (where appropriate) in-depth art historical research and articles on the Collection and/or its works.

Curatorial Programme and Engagement

  • Contributing, planning and supporting OAB programme including talks, tours and exhibitions for internal stakeholders and public engagement.
  • Supporting senior management to deliver new displays for selected Ministerial or senior diplomats.
  • Contributing to, and producing, digital initiatives and identifying programme and research areas suitable for digital output (in line with the GovArtCol Digital Comms Strategy).
  • Support, implement and deliver aspects of the Collection’s evaluation process in advance of and after it opens at OAB.
  • Supporting the Senior Curator/Deputy Director with the Collection’s Representation of the People Project Initiative – a major ten-year project addressing representation. This encompasses the Equalities characteristics and determines audience and evaluation of programme (managing relationships with new Critical Friends group, UAL, British Council Collection and Arts Council Collection). Curators manage, deliver and report on specific strands of this initiative.

External Project Management and Collaboration

  • Project managing Collection publications both digital and offline: writing and/or editing text; commissioning photography, design. Managing the project schedule and budget; liaising with other Government departments and/or stakeholders, distribution.
  • Managing selected external partnerships
  • Managing external researchers and contractors as necessary

Supporting the Collection’s corporate contribution

  • Research in preparation for producing written and/or edited material for corporate Collection and DCMS contexts such as annual reports and Ministerial briefings.

Additional Knowledge And Experience

  • Keeping abreast of museum standard interpretation and accessibility policies and good practice eg Museums Association and Accreditation requirements; and evolving curatorial practices in the cultural sector.
  • Experience of planning, researching and managing public exhibitions and programmes
  • A full understanding of EDI issues and a commitment to the GAC Representation project to be reflected in programming and evaluation.

Curator (Modern & Contemporary)

  • Specific specialist knowledge or professional qualifications in Modern and Contemporary (post-1900) visual art. As the specialist within the team your commitment is to increase understanding, appreciation and interest in Collection works.
  • Work alongside Curator (pre1900) to manage GAC Library
  • Project Manage or Assist with new art Commissions in UK and abroad
  • Research and recommendations on potential post 1900 and contemporary acquisitions.

Essential Requirements

  • Good knowledge of British modern art and enthusiasm for contemporary artistic practice
  • Good track record of research and delivering interpretation for works of art, including for digital content
  • Experience of managing and creating curatorial projects in a museum, gallery or similar cultural context
  • Experience of managing staff, volunteers or temporary contractors
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including demonstrable experience of presenting and leading public events with diverse range of audiences, ages and backgrounds

Desirable Requirements

  • Self-motivated, able to work both autonomously, and collaboratively with others
  • Sound understanding of issues and challenges facing the museums sector including fluency on issues of representation
  • Experience of working within budgets and timelines
  • Excellent team leading skills
  • Knowledge of MS Office, Mac, Google and WordPress; and collection management databases (preferable)

Please see attached candidate information pack for more information


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace


DCMS values its staff and offers a wide range of benefits to everyone who works here. We’re committed to developing talent, and supporting colleagues to have great careers in our department. To support with that, some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Flexible working arrangements and hybrid working – DCMS staff work on a flexible basis with time spent in offices, and time spent working from home.
  • 26.5 days annual leave on entry, increasing to 31.5 days after 5 years’ service.
  • A with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • 3 days of paid volunteering leave.
  • Up to 9 months maternity leave on full pay + generous paternity and adoption leave.
  • Staff reward and recognition bonuses that operate throughout the year.
  • Occupational sick pay.
  • Active and engaged staff networks to join including the LGBT+, Ethnic Minorities, Mental Health and Wellbeing and Women’s Networks.
  • Exceptional learning and development opportunities that you can explore alongside your day to day work.
  • Season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme and much more!

Terms and conditions at SCS grades will vary. Those applying for SCS roles should refer to the candidate information pack for more information on terms and conditions.


Visit website for firther details.


London, UK

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