Art Conservators

Arts, Audio/Visual Technology, and Communications > Art Conservators > Overview
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Art Conservators

Art Conservators - Overview

Curators protect items of historic, cultural, and artistic value. They study, catalog, preserve, and display documents and artifacts.

Curators manage collections at:

  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Historic sites

Curators search for and buy artifacts to add to collections. The items may be historical documents, art, or animal specimens. These items are preserved so that researchers and others may learn from them.

Curators plan and oversee the maintenance of collections. They examine items for damage. They research items in their collections to learn more about them. Curators try to determine the origin, history, and value of items. They read articles and talk to researchers who are familiar with similar items. When they find particularly important objects, curators may write articles about them. They may buy new items and borrow items from other collections.

A major part of being a curator is creating displays. They select which items should be displayed to tell a story or make a point.

Curators develop organizational systems for their collections called catalogs. They develop ways to store collections that are not being displayed.

They also make sure their collections are safe and secure. They inspect displays and facilities. They monitor lighting and humidity so that environmental conditions do not damage items. They acquire insurance for some collections.

Curators may promote their collections by leading tours or teaching workshops. They also schedule special events. Fundraising events often occur when a new display is opened.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.