Conservators and curators (NOC 5112)

About this job

Conservators and curators work in museums, art galleries and universities. Conservators:

  • restore and conserve artifacts belonging to museums, galleries and owners of cultural property
  • may be self-employed

Curators:

  • recommend the acquisition of museum and gallery artifacts
  • research the artistic history of artifacts
Common job titles
  • conservator, ceramics and glass
  • conservator, fine art / furniture
  • conservator, paintings / photos
  • curator / conservator, fossil
  • curator / conservator, library
  • curator, archaeology / museum

Duties

Conservators:

  • examine artifacts, determine their condition, suggest methods for treating them and recommend preventive conservation techniques to their owners
  • restore and conserve paintings, photographs, sculptures, furniture, pottery and other museum and art gallery artifacts
  • give advice on display and storage of museum and gallery artifacts to make sure they are properly maintained and preserved
  • research new conservation and restoration techniques
  • consult with museums, art galleries or private individuals
  • supervise conservation technicians and other museum technicians

Curators:

  • recommend acquiring paintings, photographs, sculptures, documents and other museum and art gallery artifacts
  • research origins and artistic history of artifacts
  • develop storylines and themes and organize displays and exhibitions
  • coordinate the storage of collections and set up of displays and exhibitions
  • oversee the conservation, display and circulation of collections
  • supervise curatorial assistants and other museum technicians

Special duties

Conservators and curators may specialize in a particular type of collection or material, such as furniture, weapons, books, paintings and musical instruments.

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a conventional indoor setting.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Progression to museum or art gallery management positions is possible with experience.

Additional resources