Careers in Cultural Policy

I often get asked about career opportunities in this field, mainly from postgraduate law students who have finished their LLM’s, or from art history or museum studies folks who are very keen on the subject, but unsure of where to go with a career.

I always have a tough time answering that question, as I’ve not yet figured out an answer to that question for my own purposes. My oral exam has been tentatively scheduled for the very near future, and I’m planning on entering a career in law teaching or practicing in an art law or restitution specialty. However those kinds of jobs are rare.

I’m just wondering, do folks know of resources for those interested in restitution or other relevant research or work? I know UNESCO has a small group of people, and there are some very good, committed people writing on this subject at Universities all over the world; but asking challenging questions about provenance, or the ethics of collecting, or museum curatorship would not seem to be the kind of thing that people are exactly eager to hire for. Perhaps I’m wrong in that assumption, but it certainly seems a buyer’s market for the few positions that are out there. So, I’d be very interested to hear from people about any resources that might be available, or if folks are interested in hiring cultural heritage lawyers, archaeologists, art historians, or others who are keen on cultural heritage.

This goes beyond just idle interest, because if there aren’t options for people to pursue careers asking challenging questions, then I think cultural policy will continue to suffer as a result. In any event, I’d like to have an answer, as I usually get an email at least once a week asking what opportunities are available.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Careers in Cultural Policy”

  1. The fact that there are no comments here, months later, is intensely depressing — this stuff is why I’m in law school. The only lawyer I’ve met that went to law school interested in cultural property gave up pretty quickly and now owns a small auction house in NYC.

  2. I arrived at this post a couple of years late, but I am deeply interested in this area and wondered about career options. I am completing my MFA in Graphic Design, with a thesis on the usability of legal documents. Long story short, I’ve become enamored with the intersection of art and the law; it’s something I’d like to continue, but I suppose a JD is probably necessary.

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