up to £34,000 for 25 hours a week

Contract type:

Contract Other


Part time



Curator of Exhibitions


Sir John Soane’s Museum is the idiosyncratic house-museum of the great neo-classical architect Sir John Soane and still displays his collection of antiquities, furniture, models and paintings in the same state in which they were left at the time of his death in 1837. The Museum has had a dedicated exhibition gallery since 1995 and has a proven track record of presenting exhibitions relating not just to Soane’s life, times, work, and collection but also on broader architectural, design, and art historical subjects as well as contemporary responses to the collection. The successful candidate will shape the programme working together with the Director.

Purpose of this job:

To provide leadership and expertise to develop and deliver Exhibitions in the Soane Gallery, the Foyle Space, and throughout the Museum.

 1.      To take the lead on developing public facing programmes across the Museum, principally exhibitions, to further the Museum’s vision to develop new audiences and broaden reach.

2.      To set the strategic direction for Exhibitions in the Soane Gallery and Foyle Space in collaboration with the Director, the Senior Management Team, curatorial colleagues and key stakeholders across the Museum.

3.      Be responsible for implementing the Exhibitions policy

4.      Lead the exhibitions selection process in the Soane Gallery and Foyle Space in consultation with colleagues across all key departments.

5.      To be responsible for shaping exhibition proposals, working with guest curators, the Museum’s small curatorial team and contemporary artists.

6.      Be responsible for the exhibition schedule and three-year plan for the gallery and Foyle Space.

7.      Develop a programme of occasional touring exhibitions that could generate revenue for the museum.

8.      To line manage the Assistant Curator (Exhibitions) and the Assistant Curator (Events and Special Projects).

9.      Assist the Director and Development Department in the securing of sponsorship for the exhibition programme by providing the relevant proposals, budgets etc. and helping with putting together funding applications if necessary

10.  Be the primary budget holder for exhibitions, including budgets for externally-funded projects.

11.  Report periodically to the Senior Management Team on exhibition projects and serve as a member of the Steering Committee for the Strategic Review of the Soane Museum’s Business Plan.

 Key areas of responsibility:

 1.      Co-ordinate or devise regular exhibitions usually two, sometimes three a year in the Soane Gallery, and a coordinated programme of exhibitions in the Foyle Space.

2.      Lead the delivery of those exhibitions. Work collaboratively with the Curator of Books and Drawings, when material from the Museum forms part of the exhibition. The Curator of Exhibitions will also lead the delivery of any associated catalogues through the publishing committee chaired by Operations and Commercial Director, organise Private views in collaboration with the Communications Director and write press releases in collaboration with the Press Officer and Communications Agency.

3.      Responsible for the installation and de-installation of each exhibition, working closely with the Conservation team and the Curator of books and drawings, as required.

4.      Some exhibitions may have guest curators who will define content and write a catalogue or other supplementary material, but the Exhibitions Curator has the responsibility of organizing the exhibition, loans, installation and de-installation and liaising with colleagues regarding the publication of the catalogue.

5.      Occasional requirement to organise the tour of an exhibition in the UK or abroad.

6.      Give regular introductory talks about the museum to groups; give lectures and co-ordinate seminars on aspects of the Exhibition programme, lead highlight and other tours of the Museum during weekdays, weekends and evenings,  as required.

7.      Assist with loans as required and courier drawings or works of art abroad or within the UK.

8.      Contribute relevant information to the conservation team to update the emergency plan for each exhibition.

9.      Line management of two Assistant Curators. 

Person Specification

Essential  Qualifications Experience and Knowledge

BA or equivalent in Architectural History, Art, Art History,    or related subject 

A deep and broad experience of curating exhibitions (likely to be at least 5 years) both as lead curator and managing guest curators,of programming and budget management of exhibitions and of managing staff.

Knowledge of the  process and practices of developing and delivering exhibitions, including but not limited to exhibition design, development of a coherent exhibition narrative, research, label writing, associated conservation requirements, environmental conditions, condition reporting,procedures associated with loans, insurance, Government Indemnity  and transport.

The ability to effectively communicate and influence both professionally and publically

A team player who is able to work in small teams without technical / object-handling support and collaborate effectively with other teams

Excellent general IT, administrative, organisational and people management skills

Excellent written English

Highly Desirable  Qualifications Experience and Knowledge   

      Knowledge of English Architecture of the 18th and early 19th centuries

      A post graduate qualification in Architectural History, Art History, Museum Studies or a                    related  subject

       Evidence of strategic oversight of exhibitions

      The ability to collaborate with others to programme innovative and wide-ranging                            exhibitions

       Experience of managing externally funded projects

        An interest in,  and knowledge of,Sir John Soane’s Museum, architectural history,                            archaeology, fine and  decorative art and social history

        The ability to write for a wide range of audiences

        Project management experience

Applications in the form of a CV and supporting letter, together with the names and addresses of two referees, should be emailed to [email protected] Please include ‘Curator of Exhibitions’ in the subject heading.

The closing date for applications is  Monday 2 December 2019 at 9.00 am

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 10 December 2019.

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