Museums and the role of a curator
  • Room 303, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

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The Arts Institute and Graduate School are delighted to invite postgraduate research students and staff to this talk by Joanna Norman, Deputy Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

What does a curator actually do, and how does their role fit into the work of a museum as a whole?

This session will explore these questions with particular reference to the V&A, looking at different kinds of curatorial practice such as developing exhibitions, working with permanent collections and developing a new museum. It will look at the different elements of curatorial work and the skills required for it, the factors that influence curatorial practice and the way that the role of a curator interacts with a wide range of disciplines and expertise inside and outside the museum. 

Speaker biography

Joanna Norman is Deputy Head of Research at the V&A, and Lead Curator for V&A Dundee, a new museum of design that will open in 2018. Having begun her museum career in the department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, she joined the V&A in 2005 as the assistant curator for the V&A’s 2009 ‘Baroque’ exhibition. Subsequently, she co-curated the 2010 exhibition ‘Treasures from Budapest’ at the Royal Academy of Arts and researched and managed Handmade in Britain, a series of television programmes made by BBC4 in collaboration with the V&A. From 2012, she was project curator for the V&A’s Europe 1600-1815 galleries, the re-display of the museum’s permanent collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design, which opened in December 2015. Her own research is particularly focused on performance history, Italian furniture and interiors and period rooms.

Contact researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk to book your place.



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