This two-year fixed term contract is an exciting opportunity for an experienced curator to help deliver the National Trust’s aspirations for curation and experiences on the ‘Future Saltram’ project, and across other properties in the Trust’s South West region. Excellent curatorship is key to our purpose of ‘Looking After Special Places for Everyone, Forever’. We’re looking for a creative, curatorial expert to inspire us to think differently and to help deliver an audience-led approach to the care, presentation and interpretation of our places.
What it’s like to work here
The National Trust aspires to be world-class the curatorship of its places. Grounded in exemplary care, contemporary research and beautiful presentation, we aim to reveal the stories of our places through innovative interpretation to ever-broader audiences, encouraging people to support our cause.
The ‘Future Saltram’ project aims to bring new life and purpose to the house, garden and wider estate. Situated on the edge of Plymouth, the property welcomes nearly one million visitors each year and has grown to be a rich recreational resource for its surrounding communities.
Saltram House is a Grade I listed house. The Jacobean house was transformed into a Palladian mansion in the 18th century by the Parker family who employed architect Robert Adam to remodel key interiors. The collection that the family built up includes works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica Kauffman, Chippendale and Wedgwood and is considered to be of exceptional significance. Set in 250 acres of parkland, Saltram’s garden and parkland retains many landscape features and significant buildings of the period.
As part of our matrix way of working, you’ll form part of an organisation-wide network of curators, including Cultural Heritage Curators, Experiences & Partnerships Curators, and Property Curators. You may therefore also be deployed elsewhere across the South West region, as need and opportunities arise, to help deliver our strategic priorities.The role is based from our Bodmin Hub. We’re committed to supporting a flexible working approach and to promoting a healthy work/life balance, so we are happy to discuss specific working patterns with you.
What you’ll be doing
As a member of the South West regional Consultancy, you’ll form part of a mixed team of internal consultants, working collaboratively to ensure we provide the best possible service to our places. Working with and reporting to the Cultural Heritage Curator, you will use your curatorial knowledge and skills to support ‘one team’ working across region, properties and centre, identifying and attaining shared goals.
In this role, you will work closely with Saltram’s Property Curator and other members of the Saltram team, implementing elements of Saltram’s Conservation, Curation and Experience plan. You will support the research and development of Saltram’s property themes, trialling and evaluating interpretation and programming across the property to enable the writing of a long-term interpretation plan. At the same time, you will work with the ‘Future Saltram’ project team to feed into emerging plans for new visitor infrastructure, as well as the conservation and adaptation of buildings and features within the landscape.
The role will also be called upon to work more widely and at other properties in the region, with a focus on the Tamar Valley and including places such as Cotehele and Buckland Abbey. Working alongside other specialist consultants, you will work with operational teams to improve standards of presentation and to plan and manage elements of conservation investment.
Who we’re looking for
To succeed in this role, you will need the following:
- Degree in a relevant area and post-graduate qualification, such as in history, history of art or Museum Studies (MA) or equivalent experience. Interest or specialism in 18th and early-19th century periods.
- Wide ranging knowledge of the history, presentation, and exhibition of different types of heritage in a variety of contexts and an understanding of the theory and practice of interpretation, presentation, and programme approaches.
- Understanding of the latest technology and digital media relevant to this work
- A good knowledge of collections management priorities for the care and conservation of historic interiors and of professional standards including Museum Accreditation.
- An understanding of buildings and heritage in the landscape and their conservation needs.
- A highly collaborative approach and recognition of the range of different roles and talents involved in producing content at historic properties.
- Strong influencing and consulting skills; listening, building trust and acting to deliver a high-quality service, ensuring on-going collaboration and engagement of all stakeholders.
- Ability to take a holistic and creative approach to revealing the meaning of heritage and collections for internal and external audiences, relating heritage and collections to wider historical and contemporary understandings.
- Project management skills, the ability to work at pace and be decisive, prioritising work and activity based on project need, together with advanced IT skills, using collections management database and other specialist software.
- Strong track record of working on displays and exhibitions in the museum or heritage sector, working collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders to deliver curatorial outcomes.
- Managing projects including brokering, commissioning and managing external consultants.
- Successful track record of leading high quality and creative interpretation approaches and content development, organising and presenting at workshops, seminars and conferences, sharing stories internally and externally, e.g. through social, print and broadcast media.
- Adherence to brand standards and values, working in a customer focused organisation, and a natural heritage or cultural environment
The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you – and it doesn’t matter if you’re jam first, cream first, or even if you don’t like scones at all. Everyone is welcome.Benefits for working at the National Trust include:
- Flexible working whenever possible
- Free parking at most locations
- Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
- Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.Application Closing Date: 5 December 2021