Art Radar profiles a selection of 14 curatorial training programmes in Europe.

European cultural institutions and academies offer a variety of curatorial programmes, with theory and practice courses aimed at developing curatorial practice in contemporary art.

The British Museum's Great Court. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The British Museum’s Great Court. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

1. British Museum International Training Programme | London, United Kingdom

London’s British Museum runs a summer training programme for museum and heritage professionals from around the world. The programme seeks to expose participants to a variety of aspects of museum practice and help them build specialist knowledge and a professional network. Lasting a little over a month, one of the programme’s key elements is a ten-day period spent in another UK institution. Museums participating in the programme include the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museums and the Manchester Art Gallery, among others.

2. L’Ecole du Magasin | Grenoble, France

Founded in 1987, this curatorial training programme based in Grenoble, France, aims to provide a professional environment for a rigorous combination of research and practice. Emphasis is placed on the exhibition as an open platform in which different fields or strategies of representation can be drawn upon. Through the diversity of cultures and heritages at work together in the programme, the École has developed a unique heterogeneity that allows it to address the contemporary issues affecting the art world today. Each session lasts nine months and is divided into two stages. The course does not grant university diplomas or credit and participants are evaluated at a collective level, through their projects.

3. De Appel Curatorial Programme | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Initiated in 1991 by the De Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, the programme offers young curators the opportunity to develop their experiences and skills in the curatorial field through a ten-month period of seminars, workshops, excursions, including a three-week research trip to a destination outside Western Europe. The programme also features practice-related assignments and encounters with artists and art professionals. Focus is given on the history of exhibition-making, diverse curatorial practices, institution building and project management.

4. ICI – Curatorial Intensive | various

The Independent Curators International periodically organises Curatorial Intensive programmes, which bring together curators from around the world to discuss particular issues and themes in the curatorial field. The Intensives take place in various locations worldwide, including Europe.

5. Postgraduate Programme in Curating | Zurich, Switzerland

The Institute for Cultural Studies at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, holds a post-graduate programme in Curating. The programme is structured as a discursive platform that provides knowledge in key areas of contemporary exhibition-making through practical project ­work. It creates a model situation in which students can gain practical experience of curating and learn to think critically about the issues involved. The programme also invites eminent guest lecturers working in the field of curating. The programme can be taken over two semesters with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Curating (CAS) certificate or over four semesters with a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) certificate, both corresponding to recognised university credits.

6. Course in curatorial practice | Venice, Italy

The six-month course on curatorial practice at the Centro Sperimentale per le Arti e la Comunicazioni in Venice, Italy, provides training for aspiring curators in the contemporary arts, whether aiming to work independently or in institutional settings. Through hands-on experience and theoretical lectures, the participants will gain the necessary skills to operate in the field and bring curatorial projects to life. The programme culminates in the realisation of an exhibition.

7. International Master’s Programme in Curating Art | Stockholm, Sweden

Held by Stockholm University, the programme aims to provide theoretical and practical skills in exhibition creation, organising various types of productions and presentations, as well as, providing insights into the relations between theoretical thinking and visual creation. The programme is organised through theoretical seminars, lectures and tutorials, combined with practice based projects and a ten-week internship at a Swedish or international institutions. In addition to the final thesis, students also produce a curatorial project.

The Somerset House in London, home to the Courtauld Institute of Art. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Somerset House in London, home to the Courtauld Institute of Art. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

8. Curatorial Programme – Innovators Grant | Berlin, Germany

Node Center in Berlin, an art organisation focused on curatorial practice, holds a two-month Curatorial Programme for innovators researching or working in both art and another field of interest. Grant recipients will work together to develop strategies that apply art-thinking to practical applications outside of the art world. The six participants will open the boundaries of art curation and explore the ways in which art can enrich and provide practical uses to other fields and formats, such as science, education, media and engineering. The grantees will develop imaginative manuals or guides of strategies to apply art beyond the art system.

9. Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts | Salzburg, Austria

The Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg provides exposure to art to professionals and amateurs. In addition to workshops and courses held by artists, the academy offers a more professionalised, specific course in curatorial practice, which includes several aspects of the curatorial profession, including critical thinking and writing.

10. SYNAPSE – The International Curators’ Network | Berlin, Germany

SYNAPSE at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin is an international networking platform for up-and-coming curators, which encourages and facilitates collaboration and the realisation of curatorial projects. The network holds bi-annual meetings with international curators, scientists, artists, art historians, critics and other experts to provide insight into the contemporary curatorial field. SYNAPSE also holds workshops with a number of invited participants selected by an international, professional jury.

11. Young Curators Residency programme | Torino, Italy

The Fondazione Sandretto de Rebaudengo in Torino, Italy, invites three young international curators for a four-month residency annually, which culminates in the realisation of an exhibition of Italian artists. The residency programme aims to favour the research of the Italian artistic scene. The curators will meet with the artists and gallerists, will be able to access and research bibliographical material and visit major museums as well as private collections in Milan, Venice, Rome, Bologna, Naples and Palermo. The programme also includes a rich agenda of intensive seminars and periodical individual tutoring.

12. POOL Curator training programme | Zurich, Switzerland

Hosted at the LUMA Westbau in Zurich, Switzerland, POOL is an innovative new programme that combines the collaboration of an international group of private collectors with a mentor-based training programme for curators. The programme is designed to introduce emerging curators to various models of curatorial work and to enable them to work with an international pool of art from private collections. POOL offers a new kind of training model, working with some of the world’s leading collectors and their collections alongside a comprehensive mentoring and teaching programme.

13. Curators Training Programme | Brighton, United Kingdom

Photofringe is a collaborative platform providing essential professional development opportunities and peer-support for emerging lens-based artists in Brighton. The organisation holds a training programme for emerging and early career curators interested in developing their knowledge and skills in curating contemporary photography. In addition to workshops, the selected participants will participate in the development and curation of the Brighton Photo Fringe OPEN14 solo exhibition at the historic Regency Town House. The participants will also be actively involved during the whole festival through assisting the artists and the installation, organising tours and participate in the panel discussions.

14. MA Curating the Art Museum | London, United Kingdom

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London offers a specialist MA in Curating the Art Museum as an excellent entry point for a career in museums and galleries. The course puts the physical object at the heart of curatorial training whilst placing specialist knowledge firmly within the context of the modern museum. With a balanced distribution between seminars, hands-on experience and internship placements, the course focuses on the curatorial field in the 21st century. This is a full-time twelve-month postgraduate course.


Find more curatorial training programmes in North America and the Asia-Pacific region

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia


Related Topics: art education, resources, lists, curatorial practice, courses, curators, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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