CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Short Deadline: Royal Collection Announces Job Opening for Assistant Curator

Assistant Curator Pictures
The Royal Collection, St. James’ Palace, London
ca. £25,000 plus benefits

A talented and hard-working Assistant Curator is sought to assist with the curatorial care and management of 8,000 paintings and 3,000 miniatures within the Royal Collection, which is displayed throughout the principal Royal residences and in temporary exhibitions at The Queen’s Gallery and elsewhere. Supporting the Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures with the proposal and delivery of exhibitions; and generally with the display and interpretation of the pictures collection, this is a challenging and rare opportunity to work with one of the world’s largest and finest art collections.

With a post-graduate degree in Art History and extensive research experience, you will also have first-hand experience as an exhibition curator and in the day-to-day management of a museum, gallery or similar. You will also be able to work either independently or collaboratively as part of a team, possess good IT and database skills and be well organised. An excellent communicator with initiative and drive, you will be given the opportunity to develop your existing knowledge within this stimulating and unique environment.

In return we offer a 15% employer contribution to a pension scheme, generous paid leave entitlement, excellent staff dining facilities and varied development opportunities.

For further details and an application pack, please visit, email or write to: Recruitment Assistant, Personnel Office, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA.

The closing date for completed applications is: Monday 16 July 2007THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD JOB DESCRIPTION JOB TITLE: Assistant Curator

DEPARTMENT: Pictures Department

SECTION/BRANCH: Royal Collection

REPORTING TO: Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures

LOCATION: St James’s Palace

Job Context: The Pictures Department is made up of a small team (comprising curatorial staff, picture conservation studio and art handlers) responsible for the management, safety, conservation, display and interpretation of the collection of 8,000 paintings and 3,000 miniatures. The department works with colleagues within the Royal Collection on the presentation of the palaces open to the public and on the temporary exhibitions at the Queen’s Galleries in Edinburgh and Buckingham Palace.

Organisational Chart/Working and Reporting Relationships: The post-holder reports directly to the Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures. The post-holder will have contact will all levels of Royal Household Staff and occasionally with members of the Royal Family. The post-holder will have frequent contact with external organisations and must work collaboratively with colleagues within the department and Royal Collection as a whole.

Job Purpose: To assist the Surveyor of Pictures in the display of the collection. To propose and deliver exhibitions projects. To contribute towards the understanding and interpretation of the collection.

Job Dimensions: Member of the management team (Surveyor, Assistant Surveyor, Assistant Curator and Senior Paintings Conservator) handling the Paintings Budget of £700,000.

Principal Accountabilities
• To work with the Surveyor and the inventory team to ensure that the right procedures are in place and are followed to monitor picture movements.
• To assist the Surveyor and Assistant Surveyor in devising, planning and organising temporary exhibitions within the Queen’s Gallery in London and Edinburgh (and, where appropriate, other venues), working with the Exhibition Department.
• To provide suggestions for appropriate paintings to furnish Royal Household offices and accommodation.
• To research a substantial area of the painting collection in depth, as directed by the Surveyor; be ready to deal with public and scholarly enquiries in this area; and to publish as appropriate.
• To provide colleagues within the Royal Collection (especially the Education, Public Relations and Visitor Services Departments) with lectures, guided tours and text to ensure that the paintings (and displays) are understood and enjoyed by as many people as possible.

Decision-Making Responsibility: The job holder resolves most of the day to day problems that arise in the course of duty but would refer to the Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures on policy and more complex issues.

Practical Requirements: Normal office house are 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, but flexibility is required and the nature of the post will involve the post-holder in evening meetings and functions.

Person Specification (Knowledge, Skills & Attributes):

  • Be educated to post-graduate degree level in the History of Art
  • Be an active scholar and have published extensively within the History of Art
  • Have good reading understanding of every language necessary to pursue the candidate’s chosen area of research; be fluent in at least one modern foreign language.

  • Have experience as an exhibition curator (conceiving the idea for a show, writing the catalogue etc).
  • Have extensive experience of contributing to the day-to-day management of a museum, gallery or equivalent institution.
  • Experience of working with computer data-base programmes and familiarity with the usual range of office soft-ware.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and an ability to work in a cheerful, effective and collaborative way with colleagues in every type of role within the Royal Collection and Royal Household.
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to manage a varied workload.
  • The ability to communicate effectively with the general public and act as an ambassador for the Royal Collection.
  • Awareness of conservation issues and experience of hanging historic collections.