Curae 2024/25 Online Masterclass On Curatorial Practice

Pushing Boundaries Of Curating The Contemporary

Nowadays everyone can be called a curator. We are constantly editing our phones, photos, and applications. And through social media, we curate our own image presence. But what about the curation of a proper contemporary photography exhibition? What are the hurdles to take and the exciting opportunities? Which boundaries can be set?

In contemporary photography, this field is wide open and there are still many new ways to be discovered. Over a period of 8 months, artist and curator Erik Kessels will explore this journey. Mixing theoretical seminars with practical sessions, Kessels will teach, inspire, and practice with the participants how to curate the best possible exhibition with their own or someone else’s work.

To participate, simply fill in the form with your personal details, share a link to your portfolio and apply for free. If your application is successful, we will guide you to enrol in the program.

Read the latest interview with Erik Kessels On Cultivating New Curatorial Voices

  • When October 2024 to May 2025
  • Where Online
  • Language English
  • Positions 13 seats + 1 scholarship
  • Dedication 50+ Hours
  • Contacts If you have any questions you can reach us at
  • Full fee €2,000
  • Earlybird fee €1,750 Until 23 May 2024
  • Scholarship deadline 23 May 2024

How to enroll

1. Fill in the form with your personal details

Before 20 June 2024

2. Insert a link to your project

We will consider the potential, the strength and the coherence of your portfolio

3. Submit for free and wait for the results

The applications will be reviewed by the PhMuseum Team

Apply now

How it works

  • Group Sessions

    In a collective and collaborative environment, the 7 group sessions will allow you to present the current status of your work, collect feedback from both the head professors and the class, and move forward.

  • One-to-One Mentoring

    The masterclass program comprises 3 online 30-min individual sessions with Erik Kessels. They will give you time to engage in specific discussions aimed at working on your ideas and improving your methods. These sessions provide you with privacy and the opportunity to get tailor-made solutions according to your specific needs and that of your practice.

  • Seminars

    During the 2 seminars, Erik Kessels will share theoretical and practical guidance on contemporary curatorial practice. These will give participants the necessary tools to research, produce and promote an art event.

  • Studio Visits

    To grant you industry insight and offer complementary information, we have invited expert practitioners to host 5 exclusive studio visits, plus other 4 shared with Criticae, Folio and Mediae. They will disclose the methodologies behind their work and offer you a better understanding of their role in the industry.

  • Final Presentation and Publication

    At the end of the program, you can present your projects live on PhMuseum's Youtube channel. Plus, a selection of participants will have their work featured in PhMuseum’s new annual printed publication.

Head professor

Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator and is since 1996 Creative Director of international communications agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam and London.

As an artist and photography curator Kessels has published over 50 books of his ‘re-appropriated’ images, is editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography and has written the international bestseller ‘Failed It!’. Kessels made and curated exhibitions such as ‘Loving Your Pictures’, ‘Use me Abuse me’, ‘24HRS of Photos’, ‘Album Beauty’, ‘From Here On’ and ‘Unfinished Father’.

In 2010 Kessels was awarded with the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2016 nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. In 2017 his mid-career retrospective was shown in Turin and Düsseldorf.


  • October 2024

    • Session 1 Group Presentation #1
    • Session 2 Collective Tutoring #1: The Ego Stage
  • November

    • Session 3 Seminar #1: On Curating
    • Session 4 Collective Tutoring #2: The Idea Stage (3 hours)
    • Session 5 Studio visit #1
  • December

    • Session 6 One-to-One Mentoring #1
    • Session 7 Studio visit #2
  • January 2025

    • Session 8 Seminar #2: On financial, PR and communication
    • Session 9 Collective Tutoring #3: The Content Stage
    • Session 10 Collective Tutoring #3: The Content Stage
    • Session 11 Studio visit #3
  • February

    • Session 12 One-to-One Mentoring #2
    • Session 13 Studio visit #4
  • March

    • Session 14 Collective Tutoring #4: The Delivery Stage
    • Session 15 Collective Tutoring #4: The Delivery Stage
    • Session 16 Studio visit #5
  • April

    • Session 17 One-to-One Mentoring #3
  • May

    • Session 18 Group Presentation #2: The Final Stage – Live Youtube Final Presentation

Participation fees & deadlines


Before 23 May 2024

If you apply by this date, you are eligible for the full scholarship. Please send a motivational paragraph that addresses why you need it and how you can benefit from attending the program.

Early Bird Fee

Before 23 May 2024

If you apply by this date, you can save €250. All applications submitted for the scholarship will be automatically eligible for the Early Bird Fee of €1750.

Regular Fee

Before 20 June 2024

If you apply by this date, you can join the program by paying the Regular Fee of €2,000. The seats are limited, so we recommend you avoid waiting until the last day.

* If you are offered a place, PhMuseum is happy to write you a supporting letter when you try to secure any external funding opportunities. In previous editions of our masterclasses program, the candidates' fees were covered thanks to the generous contribution of the IWMF Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists, and other programs.

Why participate?

  • Acquire practical skills

    Get first-hand experience from an internationally renowned artist, designer and curator like Erik Kessels, enhancing your theoretical and practical approach to curating.

  • Flexibility

    Enroll from anywhere in the world, taking the opportunity to engage in a program you can attend while working or traveling. All the group sessions and studio visits are recorded, so you can follow them if you missed them.

  • Expand your network

    Engage with a selected group of peers and professionals from around the world, who can become a resource also for your future. All participants will further benefit from dissemination opportunities through PhMuseum’s channels and connections.

  • Inclusivity

    Enjoy a high-end program at our launching price, one of the most competitive on the market. If you don’t have the resources, you can also apply for 1 fully-funded scholarship.

  • Have an exhibition ready for production

    This masterclass offers all the class members the concrete opportunity to structure an exhibition proposal, following all the steps from curating to budgeting. Plus, a selection of participants work will be featured in PhMuseum’s new annual printed publication.

I’m not saying that every curator needs to be some kind of an artist, but for sure, I believe that every artist has to have some kind of a curator in him or herself. Learning how to edit/show/communicate and sell your work is important and can never harm your practice.
Erik Kessels, CURAE Head Professor

Other courses you might be interested in

  • Criticae 2024/25 Online Masterclass On Documentary Photography

  • Folio 2024/25 Online Masterclass On Photobook Making

  • Mediae 2024/25 Online Masterclass On Transmedia Storytelling

  • Get Your Things Together / Curating Workshop with PhMuseum

  • Curae 2023/24 Online Masterclass On Curatorial Practice

Apply now