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A Curator is the person on staff responsible for maintaining collections of art and artifacts, keeping detailed records of their origins and histories, and deciding which new objects to purchase (see Collections: Accessioning). A Curator in a museum will ordinarily act as a general manager, making sure the collections and individual pieces are properly cleaned, moved, stored, and archived.
In creating an art exhibition, the Curator's role is to contact the specific artist about their work, if applicable, or to collect all pieces of art together from existing collections. The Curator will design the basic structure of the exhibit, delegate construction and cleanup work to staff, and identify and resolve issues with lighting, sound, and viewer areas. Because an exhibit requires many people to make it work, the Curator's role is that of an organizer, overseeing everything at once and keeping the exhibit on schedule and under budget, as well as making sure the art itself remains intact and properly displayed. After the exhibition finishes its run, the Curator disassembles it, either properly storing the art for the next show or packaging it for transport to its original home.
An art curator is usually one of the only people that works for a museum that will know almost everything on almost every painting. The curator will help the museum group art in an exhibition according to any number of charictaristics. They will also help manage, build, destroy, and design the exhibit.
Curators manage a given museum/gallery full time and decide the theme and content of the exhibition, its timing and duration. Exhibition-designers are usually freelances. They are called in by the curator for a specific project. Here it is the assembling of objects previously chosen by the curator for the art exhibition, its lighting, any incidentals such as commentary, music, other sound effects, all as attractively and easily understood as possible. The sponsors meet some or all of the exhibition's cost. In return they will get their name(s) and, if appropriate, corporate logo mentioned in the publicity surrounding the exhibition, for instance on posters and catalogues/catalogs and in media coverage.
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