Museum Hosts

Cornwall Museums Partnership offers an exciting opportunity for young people to join friendly Cornish museum teams as Trainee Curators at the following five museums; Bodmin Keep, Falmouth Art Gallery, Museum of Cornish Life, Wheal Martyn Clay Works and Royal Cornwall Museum. Working with staff and volunteers to experience all aspects of museum work. The focus of the role is to assist with a range of collections projects including, collections documentation, exhibitions, digital and community engagement.


The programme is delivered by Claire English, along side the museum hosts. Claire coordinates the programmes meetings trips, curatorial tasks, talks and training. Mentoring the Trainee Curators with a series of confidential 121’s. This starts from orientation at the beginning of their placement, supporting the Trainees through to their live exhibitions and emerging professional’s networks (Future Museum Network), funding applications and to future job.

Curatorial Tasks

There are five curatorial tasks each with a brief designed to build confidence as the trainees navigate their placement. The series of tasks to help the trainees understand how to research exhibitions and cultural institutions, review exhibitions, write imaginative proposals, reflective texts, blogs and articles. The curatorial tasks are informally assessed within Peer Network Meetings and 121’s - each task offers a practical learning outcome.

Peer Network Meetings

Each of the trainees gets the chance to meet up and talk through their placements – and individual challenges and triumphs. This has been particularly successful in creating a bond with the trainees who supported each other and devised collaborative projects such as the Talking Intern podcast and the Future Museum Network. This gives the trainees a chance to shape the programme.

Field Trips

There is a travel budget for each trainee for a series of field trips to museums and historical sites in Cornwall and London. Allowing the trainees to meet archivists, collections specialists, directors and curators. The comparison between small museums in Cornwall and national museums in London offers an insight into the local and global cultural industry and its range of roles. The trainees get a jam-packed tour - behind the scenes - of some the most inspiring, curious museums and historical sites.

Specialist Talks

The specialist talks focus on three areas; visual and decorative arts, natural sciences and social history. A range of specialist curators and museum professionals share how they came to be curating their specific collections, care and conservation considerations and their specialist subject networks. This builds a fantastic greater network of professional contacts who, along with the field trips contacts, are keen to offer support and advice to the trainees as they enter their own cultural careers.


Each trainee has a training and travel budget to access specific training needs. This also opens up the option to undertake short courses in areas the trainees feel they need more experience in such as conservation or object handling. Further to this the trainees have the option to attend conferences and specific training in the latest curatorial practices. This is often identified and shared during the 121 sessions.

Live Exhibition

The live exhibition or project takes place in the latter end of the trainees’ placement so that they can benefit from their experiences on field trips, at talks, through training and working at the museums. Each trainee is supported to propose, plan and deliver their own live exhibition or project, in collaboration with their museum hosts to showcase their talent, imagination and newly aquired research and skills.