Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Opportunity: Art Curatorial Trainee, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Posted by Sofia Landström • Sunday, March 10. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Art Curatorial Trainee, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery/Birmingham Museums Trust
Deadline: 14 March, 2013

Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) vision is to be a world class organisation which capitalises on the power of Birmingham's unique collections to educate, inspire and transform individuals of all ages, and the local, regional, national and international communities that we serve.

BMT operates nine sites in and around Birmingham. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Thinktank Science Museum, Soho House, Sarehole Mill, Aston Hall , Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Blakesley Hall, Weoley Castle and the Museum Collection Centre.

Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund 'Skills for the Future' programme and Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) has created opportunities for four individuals to train in curatorial skills with a partnership of regional museums and heritage sites. These traineeships are available to anyone who might not have qualifications in the subject area, or are not from museum background, or who want a career change. The partnership offers a twelve month training programme commencing in May 2013 until April 2014.

Purpose of the traineeship:

To give the trainee experience and understanding of all aspects of curatorial work involved in delivering the museum service.
To develop a range of skills required to work with art collections and diverse audiences.
To gain experience of developing and delivering specific projects as part of the Birmingham Museum Trust (BMT) exhibitions and events programme.
To develop specialist knowledge relating to collection and subject areas as appropriate.

We are inviting applications for the following opportunities:
- One Natural History traineeship based at The Manchester Museum The University of Manchester
- One Natural History traineeship based at Leeds Museum Discovery Centre
- One Art traineeship based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- One Social History traineeship based at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Trainees will be based in one of the host museums and will receive training in the specialist field and in a range of skills common to entry level curatorial posts.

The traineeships will comprise of:
- Short placements at a specialist institution
- Enrolment on the Museums Association (MA) AMA professional qualification
- Detailed training programme
- An allocated mentor during traineeship

Possible project areas:

- Assist with the development and delivery of gallery redisplays including object selection and rotation, conservation, photography, interpretation and installation
- Maintain gallery displays to meet BMT interpretation standards
- Participate in BMT public programmes of activities and events, e.g. delivering gallery talks, tours, print room events, Spotlight monthly opinions service
- Assist with BMT curatorial enquiries service
- Facilitate individual and group visits to the print room
- Assist with collection management and object movement including documentation using the collection management system
- Support the delivery of regional exhibitions and loans programmes
- Assist in the promotion of BMT exhibitions and events including the use of social media:
- Work on the collection – including documentation, storage upgrade, digitisation, research, evaluation for disposal and producing content for digital and social media.
- Gallery evaluation - designing, conducting, collating and producing a report with recommendations

Trainee Specification


- Passionate and enthusiastic about a career in museums
- Enthusiasm for art and working with a variety of art collections
- Self-motivated
- Motivated to complete detailed and repetitive tasks to a high standard
- Capable of carrying out investigation/research on a specific subject
- Familiar with a range of Applied Arts
- IT literate
- A qualification to NVQ level 3 (e.g. A levels or equivalent) is essential
- Can travel independently and attend at placement sites as well as trainee base


- Experience of working with the public
- Capable of working with a wide range of people
- Experience of working as part of a team
- Commitment to widening access to the specialist area of fine art and to museums


Trainee will be supervised primarily by the Curator of Fine Art and other colleagues within the curatorial team and will work with individuals and teams across the museum service and with external partners.

Training Bursary: £13,480
Length of Traineeship: 12 months (fixed term)
Responsible to: Zelina Garland, Curator, Applied Art, Birmingham Museums Trust
Hours: Full time 37 hours per week- generally Monday to Friday

Applicants can apply for one traineeship only.
Applicants must make it clear which opportunity they are applying for in the 'Post applied for' box in the application form.

Please return application forms to the team at [email protected]
Or by post to
Human Resources,
Birmingham Museums,
Millennium Point,
Curzon St, B4 7XG

Closing date is: 14 March 2013 at 10.00 AM
Proposed date for interviews: W/c 8 April 2013

For further information: Details and Application forms at

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