Modern Art Curator

Look after the modern art collection of a museum.
picture of Modern Art Curator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$28,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Modern Art Curators do?

Modern Art Curators manage collections of modern art at museums. They’re interested in the likes of Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali, whose common denominator — aside from facial hair — is that they’re both modern Artists, along with Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock, among many others.

When you’re a Modern Art Curator, you’re like other Curators, particularly other Museum Curators, in that your job requires finding, choosing, displaying, protecting, and preserving objects — including paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures — as part of permanent and temporary museum exhibits.

Just like any other Art Museum Curator, you have an expert understanding of art history, style, and technique, and you use that expertise to identify artwork of historical and cultural significance according to its time period, style, medium, and Artist. Then you value and authenticate the artwork, design the exhibit in which it will be displayed, and produce materials — such as brochures, audio tours, and placards — that explain the work’s origin and importance to museum visitors.

What’s special about you isn’t necessarily what you do, therefore. It’s what you know: Because you’re a Modern Art Curator, you know everything there is to know about modern art, which is abstract art that breaks from traditional ideas about subject matter, media, and technique. In celebration of the modern art movement, museums employ you to share your in-depth knowledge with the public so that more people will enjoy and appreciate modern art — and ultimately support modern Artists and modern art museums.

Should I be a Modern Art Curator?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Modern Art Curator

    Modern Art Curators often have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:ybaa19&chl=doctorate+%2830%25%29|no+college+%281%25%29|||bachelor%27s+%2832%25%29|master%27s+%2837%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,30,37
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