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Old 09-23-2017, 07:21 PM
 
897 posts, read 422,842 times
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I will be 34 in a few days. I'm thinking about switching careers. Currently I have 2 trades and an associates degree in business management. I figured one day I would own a spa / salon of my own one day but after close to 10 years it hasn't happened and my dream is fading away. I do remember in college wanting to switch to art history major but that was not an option at my school and every article I read said the major was useless. I want to go back to school so badly but at the same time I'm almost done with paying off my student loans from the first career. Please advise. Thanks
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Texas
51 posts, read 63,252 times
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I'm not sure what exactly is your question, But I believe you will have to have An MFA or a M.A. in art in history, for Curator credentials. I'm not sure if its possible to do such without a degree.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:00 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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There will be stiff competition out there (so be sure you get some good internships!), so you'd need an MA to be competitive.

It strikes me, though, that with an AA in Biz Mgmt, if you get a degree in Art History, you could work for galleries. You could become a gallery director, or assistant director, after putting in some time as a salesperson. So your choices wouldn't be limited to museum curatorial work. Also, for museum work, it helps to have coursework, if not an MA, in Museology. With your business background, you could add some training in "development" (fund-raising). That would take you out of curating, and into museum management.

Just tossing ideas out there, OP. Brainstorming.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 09-23-2017 at 11:21 PM..
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:07 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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My son has a BA in art. He is currently the curator of a small gallery in New England. He is continuing for his MFA, with a view to teaching at the college level.

I don't think the competition is "stiff". Get an art degree from a well respected college or university. No reason to study business. You will learn that on the job. Galleries and museums are not perusing business majors or community college grads for these positions.

They are looking for artists with a BA/BFA, preferably from a well regarded college - in the creative world.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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If you want to be a curator an MFA is in your future. Possibly ending with a PhD or DFA (doctorate in fine arts). Doctoral level programs in the arts are still pretty rare, but seem to be increasing.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:32 AM
 
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I thought about a career change and becoming a museum curator a few years ago and I did some research on the subject. I have to disagree with sheena; curator's job are few and the competition is fierce. A BA is far from the norm for this type of work, although there are some out there. There is one a short distance from me who works with a small collection at a small college. I think she makes about $16.00 an hour. Other than that, the curators I am aware of have PhDs in the History of Art. Most of the curators of special collections also have PhDs, although there are some with MAs in Art History. Considering your age and lack of art education, you are pretty far behind the curve.

If you want to take some Art History classes for personal enrichment, go ahead and do so.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:47 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
I thought about a career change and becoming a museum curator a few years ago and I did some research on the subject. I have to disagree with sheena; curator's job are few and the competition is fierce. A BA is far from the norm for this type of work, although there are some out there. There is one a short distance from me who works with a small collection at a small college. I think she makes about $16.00 an hour. Other than that, the curators I am aware of have PhDs in the History of Art. Most of the curators of special collections also have PhDs, although there are some with MAs in Art History. Considering your age and lack of art education, you are pretty far behind the curve.

If you want to take some Art History classes for personal enrichment, go ahead and do so.
This! There are a lot of art history majors, and even a fair number of MA's in art history, with few openings nationally. There's not much turnover in the field, and there are a lot of people applying for the positions that do open up. This isn't to say it's impossible, OP, but it's just being realistic. I've worked with quite a few museum curators over the years, as well as with galleries, and live in the 2nd largest art market in the world, in a city with 7 art museums. I've seen friends and colleagues go through the steps in their college educations, to get those jobs. It's doable, but you'll need more education than you may have thought up to now, OP.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:52 PM
 
897 posts, read 422,842 times
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Yeah. Thanks. I'm a little insecure about my age playing a factor in this. Would they hire a 40something over a 30 or 20something year old to start a career?
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:21 PM
 
6,959 posts, read 10,843,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va83 View Post
Yeah. Thanks. I'm a little insecure about my age playing a factor in this. Would they hire a 40something over a 30 or 20something year old to start a career?
If I were in your shoes, I would approach it like this...

I would first start talking to and getting buddy with art curators to see exactly what they do and how much you might like it.

Then, I would slowly take Masters classes at your local MFA program, non-matric. Maybe take one or two a semester.

The one by me says you need SIX art history courses as a pre-req for admission. That's an absolute joke. It also doesn't say if they need to be undergrad courses, so you might be able to do the pre-reqs and Masters at the same time.

If you decide you want to bail somewhere along the way, you haven't invested all that much.

Also, the answer is yes, your age will absolutely hurt you. Decide how much you love art and how much you hate your current job and come to a conclusion.

Last edited by jobaba; 09-25-2017 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:16 PM
 
7,563 posts, read 7,991,406 times
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You may also wish to consider getting a degree in museum studies. Many major museums offer internships to graduate students. I think that might be a good way to get started. You can also try volunteering at a museum first as a docent or whatever experience that you can get.

There are also jobs for private art collection curators, but these are only obtained through networking.
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