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Training the curators of the future

Dive into your career as a curator-in-training

The Dual Master’s in Curating Art and Cultures responds to the growing demand for academically-trained curatorial professionals with excellent interdisciplinary and theoretical backgrounds. You will learn to engage with crucial theoretical concepts and contemporary issues surrounding the collection, curation and display of art objects and cultural artefacts. You will also deepen your own disciplinary knowledge and develop your research skills, culminating in a Master's thesis.

For example, you will investigate current and past museum displays and exhibitions, from the perspective of recent insights into museum and curatorial studies. You will also carry out fieldwork through excursions to museums in the Netherlands and abroad, and discuss topical issues with curators, museum directors or exhibition-makers. Moreover, you will undertake a research paper that will culminate in a presentation for your peers and supervisors.

Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to work as a curator-in-training during a year-long internship at one of the programme’s partnering museums or cultural institutions. During the internship, you will receive hands-on training in all aspects of professional museum practice, from research for publications to organising exhibitions. The placement covers the five major areas in the working life of a curator. You’ll directly contribute to the creation of exhibitions, participate in staff meetings and project teams at the museum, carry out research into (and registration of) objects from the collection, make courier trips, and represent the museum in contacts with artists, scholars, visitors and the public.  In short, this is your chance to dive headfirst into the many aspects of the curatorial profession.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Facts and figures

Year 1

In the first semester of the first year, you will follow compulsory core courses in Collecting, Curating and Display at the UvA and the VU Amsterdam. You’ll also take electives in which you will deepen your academic field of specialisation. In addition, you will prepare for your internship placement: making individual visits to our partner institutions, attending internship events at which curators present themselves and their projects, and finally having an interview with the programme coordinators to determine your placement.

In the second semester, you will start your internship as a curator-in-training at one of our partner institutions, working four days a week. At the same time, you follow Curatorial Practices in the Contemporary World I at the UvA. This is a practical course, entailing visits to museums in the Netherlands and an excursion abroad.

Year 2

In the first semester of the second year, you continue your internship as a curator-in-training. At the same time, you follow Curatorial Practices in the Contemporary World II at the VU Amsterdam. This is a research seminar, covering case studies that relate to your own specialisation as well as the museum where you are placed.

In the second semester, you complete your internship report and write your Master’s thesis – with the help of a thesis colloquium.

Internship

The year-long internship is at the heart of the Curating Art and Cultures programme. Under the supervision of curatorial professionals, you gain first-hand experience of the roles and responsibilities of contemporary curatorship, including presentation and exhibition making, registration and documentation, art handling, restoration and conservation, research and communication, and acquisition policy.

The internship offers you the unique opportunity to gain insight into, and acquire the skills of, a curatorial profession. You will be placed at one of our partner institutions, which include, among others:

  • Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 
  • Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
  • Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
  • Joods Cultureel Kwartier Amsterdam
  • Allard Pierson Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam Museum
  • Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Tropenmuseum)
  • Cobra Museum Amstelveen
  • Frans Hals Museum Haarlem
  • Centraal Museum Utrecht
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam
  • Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven
  • Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo
  • Kunstmuseum The Hague
  • Mauritshuis The Hague

Each of the participating institutions offers one to two placements. The Master’s coordinators at both the VU and the UvA determine at which participating institution you willl be placed, based on your academic background, your interests and the projects on offer. You will be introduced to the various internship opportunities in the first semester, and will have the chance to explore your options in a meeting with the coordinators.

Excursion

Curatorial Practices in the Contemporary World I, includes a five-day excursion to Berlin, bringing you into contact with organisations outside the Netherlands. This will give you the opportunity to compare the curatorial practices from your own internship as a curator-in-training with practices elsewhere. You will visit exhibitions and meet up with curators and other professionals in the field.

Change your future with the Curating Art and Cultures programme

Change your future with the Curating Art and Cultures programme

Upon completion of the Master’s programme in Curating Art and Cultures, you’ll you will be well prepared for a career as a curator in a museum, and for work in the museum and cultural sector in general. Graduates from the programme have become curators at – among others -  Foam Photography Museum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museum Arnhem, and the Van Gogh Museum, while others have taken up positions as assistants, junior conservators and curators in many other museums in the Netherlands and abroad. There are also opportunities to continue your academic career as a researcher.

Explore your future prospects
 Woman stands on a scaffold and works on a work of art

Questions about the programme?

Please contact the programme coordinator