Our remarkable collections are held across hundreds of properties and places in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They include outstanding internationally important works of art and material culture such as paintings, sculptures, textiles, dress, decorative arts, furniture, books and libraries, as well as highly significant industrial, agricultural photographic, archaeological and archival collections. We also care for places and landscapes that are carry with complex and fascinating histories.
Our houses and collections are a fundamental part of our work and these new roles take a critical part in helping to care for, research and interpret these places and their collections.
To support some of our most internationally significant collections we need Property Curators to deliver an innovative approach to these high profile cultural destinations. While the properties are all unique, the role is to deliver a consistent approach of high standards of collections management and care across our most internationally significant historic properties.
What it’s like to work here
Mount Stewart was the Ulster home of the Stewart family, Marquesses of Londonderry and the collection reflects the important roles they played in political, social and military history in Ireland, England and Europe. The collection has been strengthened in recent years by the Trust’s acquisition of most of the contents through gift, loan, AIL transfer and purchase. It includes a large and important library, costume, toys, furniture, textiles, ephemera, sculpture, paintings and prints. It is all “associated” and presents a very full and colourful representation of life in the house in the early to mid-20th century. Much of it still needs to be inventoried. The status of the collection has been enhanced by a loan from the Estate of the 9th Marquess, including important silver, furniture, sculpture (inc a bust by Canova) family portraits (Thomas Lawrence, Hoppner and others), militaria and ceramics. The resident historic family takes a keen interest in the presentation and interpretation of Mount Stewart and provides a rich source of information on its history, family stories and the provenance of the contents. The house interiors should be seen as integral with the internationally renowned gardens, designed and created by Edith, wife of the 7th Marquess (1878-1959). The strong stories and spirit of place at Mount Stewart underpin a creative and busy programming and events calendar.
The role of Property Curator will be central in developing the vision for Mount Stewart, maintaining and enhancing the quality of presentation and interpretation, enhancing access and participation, building on existing and generating new research, and working collaboratively with all the key stakeholders. This will require energy, enthusiasm, vision, diplomacy, leadership, good art historical and history of design knowledge, conservation awareness and people management skills
What you’ll be doing
We aim to improve our collections care, deepen audience engagement with our collections and interiors, and diversify the appeal of our houses and collections through the high quality and innovative research, presentation and interpretation that we deliver.
Working as part of the Property Leadership team at your property, you will help to develop the vision for the house and garden in collaboration with the other members of the property leadership team.
You’ll provide leadership to the collection and house team, developing a lively and engaging house experience, delivering high quality presentation, interpretation and collections care.You’ll work with our consultancy teams who provide specialised expertise in geographical regions. You’ll be responsible for all elements of the visitor experience programme at your property where it relates to the cultural assets within the property or portfolio.
This new role, provides a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to help us deliver curatorial change at our internationally significant, museum quality collections at our internationally significant historic properties. These operational roles will require the postholder to be on site regularly and are based at the properties.
Who we’re looking for
- As an experienced Curator, you’ll be able to demonstrate where you have:
- Strong knowledge in history, art and design history, architecture or related fields as relevant to each property, including a good understanding of diverse and inclusive histories
- Experience of collaborative professional curatorship, including research skills
- The ability to work collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders to deliver curatorial outcomes
- Ability to be able to lead for innovative, inclusive and accessible histories and interpretation
- An understanding of the needs of a wide range of different audiences, to deliver creative, accessible and layered content to reveal the meanings of collections and places to meet these needs
- Team leadership skills, and the ability to effectively balance operational needs with effective coaching and mentoring
- Excellent verbal and communication skills
- Ability to undertake, lead on, interpret and respond to external and internal research, intelligence and analysis
- Good business planning and organisational skills
- Strong skills in advocacy and building partnerships with regional and national colleagues and partners
- In-depth understanding and experience of working with historic collections and properties
- Capability to undertake, lead on, interpret, and respond to external and internal research, intelligence, and analysis.
- Relevant formal academic / professional / vocational qualifications in Art History, Museum Studies and related fields
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.
- 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: 10 July 2022