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AAMC Foundation Professional Practices for Art Curators in Nonprofits
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In recognition of the need for a standardized curatorial best practices guide, the AAMC Foundation has produced the Professional Practices for Art Curators in Nonprofits The guide highlights the significance of cooperation (internally and externally), transparency, and engagement, as well as the importance of embracing inclusivity and accessibility in every aspect of the curatorial field, including but not limited to collection development, exhibitions, hiring, and mentoring.

Key issues discussed in the guidebook include:

  • Pathways to developing a curatorial career;
  • Strategies for engagement and collaboration with the public; 
  • Sustaining meaningful momentum supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the field;
  • Successful applications of digital strategies;
  • Increased focus on open sharing of  provenance, including conditions of transfer and colonialism; and 
  • Shifts in how the for-profit and nonprofit sector work together. 

This handbook is by no means an exhaustive review of every detail of a curator’s work, nor can it encompass every possible scenario that might be encountered. Our goal with this guide is to provide an overview of as much information as possible, supplemented by relevant support material through case studies, articles, videos, and additional sources. This document is a foundational resource on which to build one’s work and to use as one advances in the field.

Importantly, this guide advances the Foundation’s leadership at the forefront of nurturing and shaping the voice of the curatorial field and art organizations globally. We are proud to share this guide in a digital format and are pleased to answer questions regarding its development.  In addition, we welcome opportunities to share it or content within it at panels, conferences, conversations, and more. 

We express our gratitude to all those that participated in the creation of this document and the 2007 edition. In particular, we are grateful to those that developed and spearheaded the project through all its stages: Christa Clarke, Independent Curator and Affiliate, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University, President, AAMC & AAMC Foundation Board of Trustees; Helen C. Evans, Mary And Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, Department Of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Past President, Trustee Emerita, AAMC & AAMC Foundation; Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, AAMC & AAMC Foundation; Alexandra Schwartz, Independent Curator; and Monica Valenzuela, Program Manager, AAMC & AAMC Foundation.




The information in this document is subject to change or revision without notice. AAMC and/or AAMC Foundation, along with its contributors and funders, assume no and disclaim any responsibility for any errors that may appear in this document. They shall not be liable for any damages, including but not limited to general, incidental, or consequential, that may arise from use of this document or other related material. This document and parts thereof are the intellectual property of AAMC Foundation and must not be reproduced, copied, or used other than for personal reference without AAMC Foundation providing written permission. This information provided in this document and related materials is not intended to be the source of legal or other professional advice. You should not consider the information provided to be legal or professional advice and should not rely on the information herein/therein as legal or professional advice for any purpose and should always seek the legal advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction as needed. Links provided do not imply any association, endorsement, or sponsorship of any site or, with regard to protected content at any other site, any legal right or authority. All rights are reserved.


The AAMC Foundation is grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support of this project.


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