Visual Arts Curator
Country / Territory
Job Category
Pay Band
Pay Band 7
Vacancy Description
Region: UK Country: England Department: Arts Job Category: Fixed Term contract for 2 years Location: London Pay Band 7 (£26,016) plus London Weighting

The Organisation

The British Council was founded to create ‘a friendly knowledge and understanding’ between the people of the UK and wider world by making a positive contribution to the countries we work with, and in doing so making a lasting difference to the UK’s international standing, prosperity and security. The programmes we use to do this are wide-ranging and cover the arts, education, English, science and society.

The Arts

Our UK Arts team works with the British Council’s global network of offices to achieve significant impact and change by finding new ways of connecting and seeing each other through the arts. Our team in the UK has three main groupings: We have six art form teams; three cross-disciplinary teams; and three country-specific teams in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our aim is to see stronger creative sectors across the world that are better connected with the UK.

We believe arts and culture are vital to prosperous, secure societies, and that offering international cultural connections and experiences strengthens their resilience. We are uniquely able to make a difference thanks to our extensive and diverse networks in the UK and internationally, enabling us to respond to the individual context of each place we work in.

The Team

The Visual Arts Department is a dedicated team of specialists, committed to promoting the achievements of the UK's best artists and institutions abroad. We connect the UK’s visual arts sector with professionals internationally, focusing predominantly on staging and supporting contemporary art projects in areas of the developing world. Primary activities include exhibitions, training and development, professional study exchange visits and the sharing of our unrivalled knowledge and advice on the logistics of working internationally in the visual arts and museums sector. The principal assets of the Visual Arts department include a major art collection (the British Council Collection); a professional library with extensive coverage of developments in the British art of the 20th and 21st century; the British Pavilion in Venice; a state-of-the-art Workshop and a team of professional visual arts experts who curate exhibitions for our global network, as well as offering advice and assessment for international institutions and individuals wishing to work in the UK.

The Opportunity

We have an excellent opportunity for a Visual Arts Curator to contribute to the British Council’s cultural relations work globally, through the development, implementation and management of a range of exhibitions and collaborative curatorial projects.

There are two full-time fixed term roles available within the team.

The successful candidate must demonstrate the following essential knowledge & experience:    

  • A good, wide knowledge of contemporary and modern UK art and the ability to make critical judgements across different genres.
  • A track record in exhibition curating and visual arts programme management
  • Strong project management skills including budget, risk and resource management as well as experience of managing a team.  
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • The ability to write effectively for a variety of different audiences. 


Some of the main opportunities/challenges include:   (Please see Role Profile for full details of the duties) 


  • Creating opportunities for the UK museum, gallery and contemporary art sector that encourage international showcasing, collaboration and professional exchange within a cultural relations context.
  • Maintaining expertise in contemporary UK Visual Arts sector, contribute to the British Council Collection acquisition process and project proposal process.
  • Develop expertise within a specific global region, developing and maintaining excellent working knowledge of the visual arts sector as well as developing and maintaining excellent relationship with key stakeholders, including British Council colleagues in the region. 
  • Develop a variety of Visual Arts projects collaboratively with a range of national and international partners offering knowledge and expertise on Modern and Contemporary British Art including access and engagement with the British Council Collection. 

Equality Comment & Equality of Opportunity (UK) 

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights.  All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.

The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.  

For further information please see the documents below:

Role profile

British Council behaviours


  • Generous pension
  • 32 days annual leave
  • Flexible working policy
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Season ticket loan

The closing date is 15th October 2017 at 23:59 UK time and we are looking to schedule the interviews for week commencing 30th October.