Curatorial Assistant (Collections) (GBP)

Job Description

A Curatorial Assistant is required by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, in Exeter, to work as part of the Collections team. The purpose of this role is broadly to support RAMM’s curatorial team in all aspects of the care and display of RAMM’s collections in accordance with Museum policies and procedures as well as sector best practice guidelines. A large part of this role will involve assisting the Contemporary Art Curator at RAMM to provide opportunities for artists to work with the museum. This will involve assisting in the curation of contemporary art exhibitions and commissions inspired by RAMM’s rich collections. This graduate role is for 12 months and part of the University of Exeter’s GBP scheme.

COMPANY/DEPARTMENT INTRODUCTION

Summary of company

RAMM is a service of Exeter City Council, its major funder. RAMM is a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England until 2022. Following a major redevelopment project the museum re-opened in December 2011. The re-displays have gained wide critical acclaim and in June 2012 RAMM received the UK’s most significant sector award the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2012. It welcomes over 250, 000 visitors a year.

In 2018 RAMM celebrated its 150th anniversary of being open to the public.  RAMM originally housed different institutions which can still be traced in Exeter such as the library and the Devon & Exeter Institution.  RAMM was founded through public subscriptions as a memorial to Prince Albert after his death in 1861.

Awards and standards achieved by RAMM include Museum of the Year 2012, the national Designation Scheme, the Accreditation Scheme for Museums in the United Kingdom and Inspiring Learning for All. Other awards include: Devon Tourism Awards 2017 (Gold in Large Attraction of the Year, Silver in Access and Inclusivity, Bronze in Artistic Cultural and Learning Experience), TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017, and Top Family Favourite Attraction in the Exeter Baby Activities Awards 2017.

You will be employed by the University of Exeter and seconded to the RAMM.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Purpose of Role

This role will be located within the Collections team at RAMM and will involve supporting the curatorial members of this team across all of the collections. A large part of this role (at least three days a week) will involve assisting the Contemporary Art Curator at RAMM to provide opportunities for artists to work with the museum and art gallery and its collections. This will involve assisting the curator in the development of new exhibitions, commissions and installations in the permanent displays, as well as working with colleagues to deliver a programme of contemporary art events. For the remainder of the working week the Curatorial Assistant will support the Collections Officer, Curator of Ethnography and Assistant Curators in a variety of public-facing and behind the scenes tasks.

 

Main Internship Duties and Responsibilities

  • To support the Contemporary Art Curator in providing opportunities for artists to work with the museum and art gallery and its collections.
  • To support the Contemporary Art Curator in curating new exhibitions, commissions and installations in the permanent galleries by contemporary artists inspired by RAMM’s collections.
  • To assist the Curatorial team in undertaking documentation tasks, such as cataloguing, collections movement and loans, to agreed professional standards.
  • Assisting the curatorial team in the development and staging of temporary exhibitions and displays at RAMM.
  • Providing collections-related content for RAMM’s websites, social media and digital platforms.
  • Within agreed parameters, providing information, advice, assistance and collections access to external agencies, researchers and members of the public
  • Working with Curatorial and Audience Development Team colleagues, to participate in the planning and implementation of an integrated programme of activities and events.
  • Undertaking research on the collections and temporary exhibitions as required.
  • Delivering public lectures, talks and papers relating to RAMM and its collections.
  • Assisting with the day-to-day supervision of volunteers.
  • Contributing to the marketing and promotion of collections, exhibitions and activities.
  • Maintaining and developing appropriate skills and approaches necessary for the effective performance of the post.
  • Assisting at previews and public programme events.
  • Attending programming and curatorial meetings, as well as working within other departments when required.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the post.

Training and Development opportunities

Who works in the organisation that the intern can learn from:

  • Julien Parsons – Collections Team Lead
  • Sally Ayres, Assistant Curator (Decorative Arts)
  • Helen Burbage – Collections & Audiences Assistant
  • Thomas Cadbury – Assistant Curator (Antiquities)
  • Holly Carter-Chappell – Assistant Curator (Social History)
  • Tony Eccles - Curator of Ethnography
  • Lara Goodband – Contemporary Art Curator
  • Holly Morgenroth – Collections Officer
  • Rick Lawrence – Digital Media Officer
  • Anne Starkey – Exhibitions Officer
  • Shelley Tobin – Assistant Curator (Costume & Textiles)

Potential for progression for the right candidate in your company or highlight how the experience can help the intern with their next steps.

With support and guidance from a range of staff within RAMM’s collections team this experience will be of considerable value to graduates in understanding how a major regional museum and art gallery operates, and in particular how it engages with contemporary artists. This role will provide the successful candidate with an excellent opportunity to learn about how RAMM plans, develops and implements exhibitions both in-house and touring. The post will also provide the opportunity to develop an understanding of how RAMM manages and cares for its collections. There will also be the opportunity to gain a wider perspective and an insight into upcoming projects and the associated concerns, issues, and opportunities that exist within a busy curatorial department.

Level of Support

Monthly 1-2-1 meetings will be scheduled between intern and manager but this post will also involve working very closely with the line manager on a day-to-day basis. 

You will  be allocated a mentor.

Other Benefits, Rewards and Recognition

Flexible working patterns are available.

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Attainments/Qualifications

  • Relevant undergraduate degree such as art history, visual culture, curating or fine art and an active interest in and/or experience of working in the arts, heritage and museums sector.

Skills and Understanding

  • Understanding of the role of a collections and exhibitions team within the museum and gallery sector.
  • Ability to effectively prioritise workload.

Prior Experience

  • Experience of using Microsoft Office.
  • Experience of working as part of a team.
  • Experience of undertaking research.

Behavioural Characteristics/ Personal Qualities and Attributes

  • Able to use initiative.
  • A positive and flexible approach to work
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to build relationships with a range of people at different levels of the organisation
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Able to work as part of a team as well as on your own
  • Able to prioritise and manage time effectively
  • A willingness to learn and get involved in a variety of tasks
  • A genuine interest in the museum and heritage sector
  • Eager to learn.
  • Critical thinking.

GBP Scheme Requirements

To be eligible to apply and undertake a GBP role the graduate must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Achieved (or about the achieve) a full undergraduate degree (if you have a Masters or PhD you can apply)
  • Attended a British university or you were an ERASMUS student who has spent a year studying at a UK university
  • Graduated in the UK in the last 3 years from your most recent degree (or consider the extenuating circumstances of potential applicants that may have prevented them from undertaking a graduate role within 3 years of graduation).
  • Right to Work in the UK for the duration of the GBP internship without the need for sponsorship
  • Resident in the UK for the duration of your GBP role

We welcome all applicants and the diversity they bring, however current immigration legislation prevents the university to provide sponsorship certificates for GBPs, as they do not meet the criteria for a Tier 2 (General Visa) as explained on the International Student Support webpages.

The University of Exeter is committed to developing an environment which promotes equality of opportunity, values diversity and where staff can work free from discrimination and harassment. You can find more details on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity webpages. 

The University of Exeter is a Disability Confident Employer, committed attracting and recruiting people with disabilities, and retaining and supporting staff with disabilities.

To undertake a GBP role you must achieve your degree. In the unlikely scenario where a degree is not awarded, the GBP hours may be reduced to 15hrs a week (for undergraduates) or 6hrs a week (for postgraduates) to enable to the graduand the capacity to successfully complete their degree. If the graduand fails their degree the GBP role will end early.

Interviews for this role are expected to take place in the week beginning 19/4/2021.

To apply for this role please complete our internship application which can be downloaded here: http://ex.ac.uk/bqu. Please send your completed form to internships@exeter.ac.uk