Permanent f/t (37.5 hrs pw)
circa £34,000 pa
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
Petworth has been a family home for over 900 years. The land was a royal gift from the widow of Henry I to her brother, Jocelin de Louvain. He married into the renowned Percy family, who were Earls of Northumberland. The Percy stronghold was originally in the north, but in the late 1500s, Petworth became a permanent home to the Percys after Elizabeth I grew suspicious of their allegiance to Mary, Queen of Scots, and confined the family to the south. George O'Brien Wyndham, the 3rd Earl of Egremont, inherited Petworth in 1763 as a direct descendant of the Percy family. He began what’s known as the 'Golden Age' of Petworth. As a collector of British art, the 3rd Earl was patron to many contemporary artists. John Constable, a guest of the 3rd Earl, called Petworth the 'house of art'.
Inspired by the Baroque Palaces of Europe, Petworth House was rebuilt in the 17th-century with grand state rooms in order to display the family's wealth, taste and royal connections.
These rooms still display one of the finest collections in the care of the National Trust. The collection includes 19 oil paintings by J. M. W. Turner, who was a regular visitor to Petworth, paintings by Van Dyck, carvings by Grinling Gibbons, classical and neoclassical sculptures (including ones by John Flaxman and John Edward Carew), and wall and ceiling paintings by Louis Laguerre. There is also a terrestrial globe by Emery Molyneux, believed to be the only one in the world in its original 1592 state.
We now have an exciting opportunity for a Property Curator at Petworth House to take a leading role in caring for, researching and innovatively interpreting this special place and its collections.
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'll 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 will 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. At some of our properties, there may be an opportunity to live on site as a Key Representative, however this could be discussed at interview at individual sites.
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
Benefits for working at the National Trust:
• Flexible working whenever possible
• Free parking at most locations
• Discounts in high street stores, cinemas, National Trust properties and cafes
• Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
• Generous annual leave
• Subsidised health cash plan
• Free 24-hour support service
• Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
• Training & Development tailored to you
• Up to 5 days of paid volunteering for you