The curators priorities are:
Job security: Don't rock the boat; praise what others praise, condemn what others condemn.
Get promoted: Organise popular exhibitions; borrow famous works.
Get funding: Schmoose millionaires, philanthropists, and government for buckets of money.
Build the collection: Buy famous pictures or promote cheap stuff to make it famous.
Advance personal status: Go to conferences, write scholarly articles for curators and academics, get cited by others in exchange for citing them.
Grasp more responsibility: If photography is too small then swell your department by absorbing video, movies, "digital media", photo-realist painting, works on paper, anything.
Become essential: Know where the bodies are buried, who's on the take. When funding cuts come they'll sack someone else or you will squeal...publicly.
On the other hand if you ask a curator to critically assess the aesthetic merit of a photograph out of context (no history, no provenance, no author) you rarely get anything of value. Telling the good ones from the bad ones is not part of the training, not part of the job description.