cu·​ra·​tor | \ ˈkyu̇r-ˌā-tər How to pronounce curator (audio) , ˈkyər-; kyu̇-ˈrā-; ˈkyu̇r-ə-, ˈkyər- How to pronounce curator (audio) \

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 How to pronounce curatorial (audio) , ˌkyər-​ \ adjective
curatorship \ ˈkyu̇r-​ˌā-​tər-​ˌship How to pronounce curatorship (audio) , 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

Organized by Kasia Redzisz, senior curator at Tate Liverpool, the exhibition will feature 40 artists, most of them women. Natalia Rachlin, WSJ, "A New Museum is Putting This Swiss Alps Town on the Map," 12 Dec. 2018 Helping fill in the gap are other folks, including a curator at the Victoria & Albert museum who treats some of Westwood's designs with a reverence bordering on awe. Kenneth Turan,, "'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist' review: Fashion designer 'a force to be reckoned with'," 11 July 2018 Kirsten Jensen, the former Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest chief curator at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, told the Inquirer last year. Bonnie L. Cook,, "Robert M. Engman, 91, creator of sculptures great and small," 10 July 2018 Drawn into the action is another historical figure: Everett C. Maxwell, the first art curator at what was initially known as the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. Daryl H. Miller,, "'The Ballad of Bimini Baths' plunges into L.A. history," 15 June 2018 There’s a new curator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park. Anne Dunlap,, "Cornell Fine Arts Museum: New curator starts June 18," 12 June 2018 Browne lives in New York with his partner, Andrew Bolton, the head curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Anna Wintour Costume Institute. Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, "LeBron’s Thom Browne shorts suit, explained," 1 June 2018 This exhibition - organized by curators at the New Orleans Museum of Art from its permanent collection - is the largest presentation to date of works from Sacabo's Salutations series. Sarah Bonnette,, "Artscape: Two exhibitions will showcase talents of female artists," 23 May 2018 Biesenbach served as the chief curator at large of MoMA and the director of PS1 before starting as the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in October. Derek Blasberg, WSJ, "How the Record-Breaking Sale of a Lichtenstein Painting Changed Agnes Gund’s Life," 31 Oct. 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

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Dictionary Entries near curator





curator bonis



Statistics for curator

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for curator

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 How to pronounce curator (audio) , 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 How to pronounce curator (audio) \

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

History and Etymology for curator

Latin, guardian, from curare to take care of

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Comments on curator

What made you want to look up curator? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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