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The Curator's Handbook

Museums, Commercial Galleries, Independent Spaces

Adrian George


A practical handbook for all those involved in, or studying, the dynamic field of curating

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


From pitching your ideas and writing loan requests to working with artists, lenders and art handlers; from writing interpretation material to installing and promoting your exhibition, this is the most clear and complete guide yet to the art of curating.

The introduction maps the history of curating from its origins in the 17th century to the multifarious roles of the curator today: tastemaker, custodian, interpreter, educator, facilitator and organizer. Adrian George then guides the reader through the processes of curating an exhibition in twelve chapters. Each step is described in valuable detail and clear, informative language by this experienced curator, whose text pinpoints the keys to success (as well as which pitfalls to avoid).

With advice and tips from a cast of international museum directors and curators – including Daniel Birnbaum, Aric Chen, Elizabeth Ann MacGregor, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jennifer Russell and Nicholas Serota – this is the essential handbook for all students, museum and gallery professionals, and established or aspiring curators.

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'A thorough and authoritative guide that will fulfill the needs of even the most demanding reader'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 21.0 x 14.0 cm

Extent: 334 pp

Publication date: 23 February 2015

ISBN: 9780500239285

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Starting Off • 2. From Idea to Reality • 3. Pitching • 4. Budgets and Fundraising • 5. Negotiating • 6. Exhibition Publications & Merchandise • 7. Putting a Show Together • 8. The Weeks Before the Opening • 9. Installation • 10. The Days before Opening and the Opening Day • 11. The Press Opening and Private View • 12. During – and after – the exhibition

About the Author

Adrian George is Deputy Director and Senior Curator at the UK Government Art Collection in London. A graduate of the Royal College of Art MA in Curatorial Practice, he has held curatorial posts at Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern, London, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.