Carol Vogel’s story in the special museum section of the New York Times profiles young curators who are attracting young people to museums. But Vogel points out that these curators are as likely to be at these museums because of the three-year long recession:
During good economic times, many young people like Mr. Roy would have snubbed the museum world, preferring instead to become a filmmaker or a big shot at an international film festival. Many young curators with backgrounds in art history would have jumped at the seemingly more glamorous life as an art dealer. But in these turbulent times, the stability of a museum job is attractive.
“Museums are safe harbors in this difficult economic time,” said Glenn D. Lowry, director of the MoMA, who said that Mr. Roy was one of a growing number of curators at MoMA in their 30s and early 40s. “Previously you were in your late 40s or 50s before becoming a senior curator, but all that’s changed,” he added. “These curators look at things more broadly. This is a generation who grew up entirely in the digital world and they are untroubled by distinctions of media.”
It is also a group plugged in to all areas of museum life. They don’t simply organize exhibitions, they also have a hand in fund-raising and public relations, catalog production and installation. “The old-fashioned notion of a curator was that of a connoisseur who made discoveries and attributions,” said Scott Rothkopf, 33, who is the latest full-time curator to join the Whitney Museum of American Art’s team. “A lot of that work has already been done. The younger generation is trained to think differently, to think more about ideas.”
New Guard of Curators Steps Up (New York Times)