Monday, November 30, 2009

CURATORS: Musing or Deeming?

PERMANENT COLLECTIONS AND CURATORS: caretaker ... or ‘gatekeeper’ ... or a ‘culture’, exhibition impresario ... or a researcher cum publisher ... or an artist, political cum social activist ... or ‘culture shaper’ ... or ‘taste maker’ ...

Click here for an international perspective on the role and history of museum curatorship


cu·ra·tor (ky-rtr, kyr-tr)
n. One who manages or oversees, as the administrative director of a museum collection or a library.
[Middle English curatour, legal guardian, from Old French curateur, from Latin crtor, overseer, from crtus, past participle of crre, to take care of; see curative.]
cura·tori·al (kyr-tôr-l, -tr-) adj.
cu·rator·ship n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
1. the administrative head of a museum, art gallery, or similar institution
2. (Law) Law chiefly Scots a guardian of a minor, mentally ill person, etc.
[from Latin: one who cares, from cu¯ra¯re to care for, from cu¯ra care]
curatorial adj
curatorship n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition 2003. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003 ……

Curator (from Latin cura, care), means manager, overseer.
Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g., gallery, museum, or archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution's collections. The object of a traditional curator's concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be inter alia artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital data objects, and biocurators. …. wikipedia

cu·ra·tor [kyoo-rey-ter, kyoor-ey- for 1, 2; kyoor-uh-ter for 3]
noun 1. the person in charge of a museum, art collection, etc. 2. a manager; superintendent. 3. Law. a guardian of a minor, lunatic, or other incompetent, esp. with regard to his or her property.
Origin: L, equiv. to cu¯ra¯(re) to care for, attend to (see cure ) + -tor -tor; r. ME curatour AF L as above
Related forms:
cu·ra·to·ri·al [kyoor-uh-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-] , adjective
cu·ra·tor·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

cu·ra·tor Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from curare to care, from cura care
Date: 1561
: one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially : one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit
cu·ra·to·ri·al adjective
cu·ra·tor·ship noun

The role
  • along with conservators and art technicians, to delineate a comprehensive and accurate record of the artwork, object, information, for the future ... read more
  • Traditionally, a curator has been defined as the custodian of a museum or other collection – essentially a keeper of things. The Association of Art Museum Curators identifies curators as having a primary responsibility for the acquisition, care, display and interpretation of objects, such as works of art. They work with their institutions to develop programs that maintain the integrity of collections and exhibitions, foster community support, and generate revenue ... A curator of an ... read more

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