Alumni Profile: Helen Scott

Helen Scott

Curator (Fine Art) – City Art Centre, City of Edinburgh Museums & Galleries

PGDip 2004-2005, PhD 2005-2009

I came to the Museum and Gallery Studies course having completed an MA in Art History. My long-term aim was to undertake a PhD, but I was also keen to gain hands-on experience in the museums sector and broaden my chances of future employment beyond academia. The course provided a fantastic array of opportunities to learn about and experience the different roles within the field – from curating contemporary art exhibitions and organising craft workshops for schools, to cataloguing historical objects and understanding collections management systems. We were taught a useful mix of theory and practice, which created a firm footing for our next steps as museum professionals.

The course certainly opened doors for my future career. Immediately after graduating, I gained a position as a Research Assistant, working as part of a University-run project to create an inventory of the estate of the artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. This role gradually expanded, and I became Collections Manager for the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust (now the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust) in 2006. A few years later, after finishing my PhD, I became the Trust Manager, responsible for running the resource centre and artists’ residency scheme, as well as looking after the art collection. In 2013 I moved to my current position as Curator (Fine Art) at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh, where I manage the Scottish art collection and curate exhibitions.