Photography Curator

Manage a museum's photo collection.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$28,000 – $86,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Photography Curators do?

Museums and galleries around the world collect and display dozens of types of art. From historical artifacts to Monet paintings, each offers a different experience to the visitor. Museums that include the art of photography in their repertoire rely on Photography Curators to share information about those works with the public.

As a Photography Curator, you’re charged with running the room, wing, art gallery, or museum dedicated to Photographers and their work. That means you have a passion for the history, craft, and technical details of photography. The fun part of your job comes when you get to share that passion with others.

Your position as a Photography Curator lets you share more than passion, though. You also share knowledge when you educate visitors about the lives of Photographers and the history of photography itself. In addition, you encourage patrons to form and express their own opinions about the art.

Like the subject of the photos themselves, photographs need the proper lighting, framing, and background to look their best. So you also handle the organization, cleaning, and storage of items in each display.

To ensure that the visitors and Museum Director are happy with the experience, you find the best pieces of photography available. That might mean making a deal with another gallery to borrow or exchange work. Or, it might include hunting down new Artists, locating pieces at art auctions, or convincing owners to donate their work.

Should I be a Photography Curator?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • 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.

  • How to become a Photography Curator

    Photography 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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