After graduating from Reading University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, Paul Bonaventura organised shows of modern and contemporary art, firstly as Exhibitions Assistant at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and subsequently as Senior Exhibitions Organiser at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

In 1994 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art Studies at the University of Oxford where he devised and delivered a twenty-year programme of exhibitions, commissions, fellowships and publications. Shortlisted for the Prudential Awards for the Arts and the National Art Collections Fund Prize, the programme encouraged collaborations between artists and experts from other disciplines and latterly included major contributions to the London 2012 Festival, Contemporary Art Society Annual Awards, 14–18 NOW and Magna Carta 800.

Since 2015 he has been operating as an independent curator and producer. His most recent projects include 'Electricity: The spark of life' at Wellcome Collection in London, Teylers Museum in Haarlem and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and 'George Stubbs: 'all done from Nature'' at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes and Mauritshuis in The Hague.