cu·ra·tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər , ˈkyər- ; kyu̇-ˈrā- ; ˈkyu̇r-ə- , ˈkyər- \

Definition of curator 

: one who has the care and superintendence of something especially : one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit

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Other words from curator

curatorial \ˌkyu̇r-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl, ˌkyər- \ adjective
curatorship \ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər-ˌship, ˈkyər-; kyu̇-ˈrā-; ˈkyu̇r-ə-, ˈkyər- \ noun

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In a good-sized art museum, each curator is generally responsible for a single department or collection: European painting, Asian sculpture, Native American art, and so on. Curatorial duties include acquiring new artworks, caring for and repairing objects already owned, discovering frauds and counterfeits, lending artworks to other museums, and mounting exhibitions of everything from Greek sculpture to 20th-century clothing.

Examples of curator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Carlos Basualdo, the curator of contemporary art for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is known for his ambitious projects and acquisitions. Aubrey Nagle,, "Why Philly feels squeezed by U.S. economy, Philly Latinos face Trump's America | Morning Newsletter," 9 July 2018 Which allows Bulgari's history to be cemented in a series of global exhibitions and makes the job of its heritage curator a lot of fun. Alice B-b, A-LIST, "No Place Like Rome," 4 July 2018 Katherine Luber, the museum’s director, and William Rudolph, its chief curator, traveled to Spain (five times), seeking to borrow art dating from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella to the dawn of modernism. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting From the Museums of Madrid’ Review: A Visual Heritage Tour," 3 July 2018 Our eighth and final curator is singer and producer MNEK. Patrick Crowley, Billboard, "MNEK's Pride Month Playlist: Kaytranada, Troye Sivan, Spice Girls & More," 28 June 2018 That is the same year his wife, Megan, came to the zoo to be its curator of birds. Rick Kogan,, "Lincoln Park Zoo partners with Chimp Haven — a place where chimps can get out of their lab cages and live free," 21 June 2018 With help from its curator and local history buff Fred Keller, the pair of suburbs nestled in northern Waukesha County have their own history museum. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How a $5, spur-of-the-moment purchase of a Civil War-era musket led to a local history museum," 20 June 2018 The Met hired her in 2003 as its first curator for Korean art. Mark Feeney,, "New chief curator for Harvard Art Museums," 14 June 2018 Karen McGuire, curator of exhibits at Cannon Gallery, said the public is very excited about the show. Pam Kragen,, "'Stellaluna' author and artist celebrates 25th anniversary with exhibit," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curator.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of curator

1561, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for curator

borrowed from Latin cūrātor "one who looks after, superintendent, guardian," from cūrāre "to watch over, attend" + -tor, agent suffix — more at cure entry 2

Latin, guardian, from curare to take care of

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Dictionary Entries near curator





curator bonis



Statistics for curator

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of curator was in 1561

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English Language Learners Definition of curator

: a person who is in charge of the things in a museum, zoo, etc.


cu·ra·tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər , kyu̇-ˈrā- , ˈkyu̇r-ə- \

Kids Definition of curator

: a person in charge of a museum or zoo


cu·ra·tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər, kyu̇-ˈrā-tər \

Legal Definition of curator 

in the civil law of Louisiana : a person appointed by a court to care for the property of an absent person or to care for the person or property of someone mentally incapable of doing so — compare committee, conservator, guardian, interdict, tutor

Other words from curator

curatorship noun

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