May 22, 2024

An art history degree focuses on the study of the history of art and the development of art movements and styles. It provides students with a broad knowledge of art history, theory, and criticism. Graduates with an art history degree can pursue a variety of careers in the arts, culture, and education sectors.

Art historians play a vital role in preserving and interpreting our cultural heritage. They work in museums, galleries, libraries, and universities, where they research, curate, and teach about art. They also work as art critics, journalists, and educators, helping the public to understand and appreciate art. An art history degree can also provide a strong foundation for careers in law, business, and other fields.

If you are interested in a career in the arts, culture, or education, an art history degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful. With a solid understanding of art history, you will be able to appreciate and analyze art from different cultures and time periods. You will also be able to communicate effectively about art, both in writing and orally. These skills are essential for a variety of careers in the arts, culture, and education sectors.

what can i do with a major in art history?

An art history degree provides a solid foundation for a variety of careers in the arts, culture, and education sectors. Here are 10 key aspects to consider:

  • Museum curator
  • Art gallery director
  • Art historian
  • Art critic
  • Art educator
  • Archivist
  • Librarian
  • Art dealer
  • Art conservator
  • Art appraiser

These are just a few of the many career options available to art history majors. With a strong foundation in art history, you will be able to pursue a career that you are passionate about and that makes a difference in the world.

Museum curator

Museum curators are responsible for the care and display of museum collections. They research, acquire, and preserve artifacts, and develop and present exhibitions. Curators also work with other museum staff to develop educational programs and outreach activities.

  • Collections management: Curators are responsible for managing and preserving museum collections. This includes researching and acquiring new artifacts, cataloging and storing collections, and ensuring that artifacts are properly conserved and displayed.
  • Exhibition development: Curators develop and present exhibitions that interpret museum collections for the public. This includes selecting artifacts, writing labels, and designing exhibition layouts.
  • Educational programming: Curators develop and present educational programs for all ages. This includes lectures, tours, workshops, and other activities that help the public to learn about museum collections.
  • Outreach: Curators work with other museum staff to develop outreach programs that bring the museum to the community. This includes working with schools, community groups, and other organizations to develop programs that meet the needs of the community.

Museum curators play a vital role in preserving and interpreting our cultural heritage. They are also responsible for educating the public about art and culture. An art history degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to become a museum curator.

Art gallery director

An art gallery director is responsible for the overall operation of an art gallery. This includes managing the gallery’s collection, planning exhibitions, and overseeing the gallery’s staff. Art gallery directors also work with artists, collectors, and the public to promote the gallery’s mission.

  • Management: Art gallery directors are responsible for the overall management of the gallery. This includes developing and implementing policies and procedures, managing the gallery’s budget, and overseeing the gallery’s staff.
  • Collections management: Art gallery directors are responsible for managing the gallery’s collection. This includes acquiring new works of art, cataloging and storing the collection, and ensuring that the collection is properly conserved and displayed.
  • Exhibition development: Art gallery directors are responsible for planning and developing exhibitions. This includes selecting works of art, writing labels, and designing exhibition layouts.
  • Public relations: Art gallery directors are responsible for promoting the gallery to the public. This includes working with the media, developing marketing materials, and organizing public events.

Art gallery directors play a vital role in the art world. They are responsible for preserving and interpreting our cultural heritage, and they help to promote the appreciation of art. An art history degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to become an art gallery director.

Art historian

Art historians are scholars who study the history of art. They research, analyze, and interpret works of art from all periods and cultures. Art historians also write books and articles, give lectures, and teach courses on art history. An art history degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to become an art historian.

Art historians play a vital role in our understanding of art. They help us to understand the context in which works of art were created, the influences that shaped them, and the meanings that they convey. Art historians also help us to preserve and protect works of art for future generations.

If you are interested in a career in art history, there are many different paths you can take. You can work in a museum, gallery, library, or university. You can also work as an independent scholar, writer, or teacher. With a strong foundation in art history, you will be able to pursue a career that you are passionate about and that makes a difference in the world.

Art critic

Art critics are writers who evaluate and interpret works of art. They write reviews, articles, and books about art for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Art critics also give lectures and teach courses on art criticism.

  • Role of art critics

    Art critics play a vital role in the art world. They help the public to understand and appreciate art. They also help to shape the way that we think about art and its role in society.

  • Qualifications of art critics

    Art critics typically have a strong background in art history. They also have a keen eye for detail and a strong ability to write and communicate clearly.

  • Different types of art criticism

    There are many different types of art criticism. Some art critics focus on the formal qualities of art, such as its composition, color, and texture. Others focus on the content of art, such as its subject matter and symbolism. Still others focus on the social and political context of art.

  • The importance of art criticism

    Art criticism is important because it helps us to understand and appreciate art. It also helps to shape the way that we think about art and its role in society.

If you are interested in a career as an art critic, there are many different paths you can take. You can work for a newspaper, magazine, or website. You can also work as an independent critic or teach at a university. With a strong foundation in art history, you will be able to pursue a career that you are passionate about and that makes a difference in the world.

Art educator

Individuals with a major in art history who pursue a career as an art educator play a crucial role in fostering artistic appreciation and knowledge among younger generations. Whether through formal classroom instruction or community-based workshops, they impart their expertise and passion for art, cultivating creativity, critical thinking, and cultural awareness among their students.

  • Teaching in various educational settings

    Art educators find employment in diverse educational settings, ranging from preschools to universities. They develop and deliver age-appropriate curricula that engage students with art history, theory, and practice. In preschool and elementary schools, they introduce young learners to fundamental art concepts, colors, shapes, and techniques, nurturing their imaginations and early artistic development. At secondary and post-secondary levels, art educators delve deeper into art history, aesthetics, and contemporary art practices, fostering critical thinking, analytical skills, and artistic expression among their students.

  • Designing and implementing art programs

    Art educators are responsible for designing and implementing comprehensive art programs that align with educational standards and curriculum guidelines. They assess students’ needs, interests, and learning styles to create differentiated instruction that caters to diverse learners. By incorporating hands-on activities, discussions, and projects, art educators provide students with opportunities to explore various art forms, techniques, and concepts, fostering their creativity and artistic growth.

  • Collaboration and community involvement

    Art educators often collaborate with other educators, artists, and community organizations to enrich their teaching and provide students with real-world experiences. They organize field trips to museums, galleries, and artist studios, exposing students to diverse art forms and fostering their appreciation for the local art scene. Additionally, art educators may lead community-based art workshops or partner with local organizations to create public art projects, promoting art as a tool for social engagement and community building.

  • Assessment and evaluation

    Art educators employ various assessment strategies to evaluate students’ progress and provide feedback that supports their artistic development. They assess students’ understanding of art concepts, technical skills, and creative problem-solving abilities through a combination of written assignments, critiques, portfolios, and practical demonstrations. By providing constructive and specific feedback, art educators help students identify areas for improvement and develop their artistic potential.

In summary, art educators with a major in art history play a vital role in shaping the next generation of artists, art enthusiasts, and informed citizens. Through their dedication to teaching, curriculum development, community involvement, and assessment, they nurture creativity, critical thinking, and cultural awareness, inspiring students to engage with and appreciate the world of art.

Archivist

Archivists play a crucial role in preserving and organizing historical documents and artifacts, including those related to art history. With a major in art history, individuals can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to work as archivists in museums, libraries, and other institutions that house valuable art collections.

  • Preservation and Conservation

    Archivists are responsible for preserving and conserving art-related documents and artifacts, ensuring their longevity and accessibility for future generations. They employ specialized techniques to store and handle delicate materials, such as paintings, sculptures, and manuscripts, and work closely with conservators to ensure their proper care and restoration.

  • Cataloging and Organization

    Archivists develop systems for cataloging and organizing art-related materials, making them accessible to researchers, curators, and the public. They create detailed inventories, databases, and finding aids to facilitate the retrieval of specific items or information, ensuring that valuable art history resources are discoverable and usable.

  • Research and Reference

    Archivists assist researchers and scholars in accessing and interpreting art-related documents and artifacts. They provide guidance on research methods, locate relevant materials, and offer insights into the historical context and significance of the collections. Their expertise in art history and archival science enables them to provide valuable support to researchers exploring various aspects of art history.

  • Exhibitions and Outreach

    Archivists may also participate in the development of exhibitions and outreach programs that showcase art-related materials from the collections. They collaborate with curators and educators to create engaging displays and educational resources that enhance public understanding and appreciation of art history.

In summary, a major in art history provides a strong foundation for a career as an archivist in the field of art. Archivists with expertise in art history play a vital role in preserving, organizing, and providing access to valuable art-related materials, contributing to the advancement of art history research and scholarship.

Librarian

Individuals with a major in art history are well-positioned for careers as librarians, particularly in specialized roles related to art research and collection management. Their deep understanding of art history, combined with their training in research methods and information organization, makes them valuable assets to libraries and archives that house art-related materials.

  • Art Reference and Instruction

    Art history majors who pursue careers as librarians can specialize in art reference and instruction, providing research assistance and educational guidance to patrons. They assist researchers, students, and the general public in accessing and interpreting art-related resources, including books, articles, databases, and archival materials.

  • Collection Development and Management

    Librarians with a background in art history play a crucial role in developing and managing art-related collections in libraries and museums. They work closely with curators and other staff to identify, acquire, and preserve valuable art materials, ensuring that these resources are available for research and public access.

  • Cataloging and Metadata Creation

    Art history majors possess the knowledge and skills necessary for cataloging and creating metadata for art-related materials. They use specialized vocabularies and standards to describe and organize these resources, making them discoverable through library catalogs and online databases.

  • Digital Humanities and Archives

    In the digital age, art history majors are increasingly involved in digital humanities projects and archival initiatives. They collaborate with technologists and archivists to digitize, preserve, and provide access to art-related materials, expanding the reach and accessibility of these resources for researchers and the public.

In summary, a major in art history provides a strong foundation for a career as a librarian in the field of art. With their expertise in art history, research methods, and information management, art history majors are well-equipped to contribute to the preservation, accessibility, and dissemination of art-related knowledge and resources.

Art dealer

An art dealer is a professional who buys and sells works of art. They may specialize in a particular type of art, such as paintings, sculptures, or antiques. Art dealers typically have a deep knowledge of the art market and the history of art. They use their expertise to advise clients on buying and selling art, and to help them build and manage their art collections.

A major in art history can provide a strong foundation for a career as an art dealer. Art history majors learn about the history of art, the different styles and movements in art, and the factors that influence the value of art. They also develop strong research and analytical skills. These skills are essential for art dealers, who need to be able to identify and evaluate works of art, and to understand the market for art.

Many successful art dealers have a major in art history. For example, Larry Gagosian, one of the most successful art dealers in the world, has a degree in art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Gagosian has built a successful career by representing some of the world’s most famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons.

If you are interested in a career as an art dealer, a major in art history can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful. Art history majors learn about the history of art, the different styles and movements in art, and the factors that influence the value of art. They also develop strong research and analytical skills. These skills are essential for art dealers, who need to be able to identify and evaluate works of art, and to understand the market for art.

Art conservator

An art conservator is a professional who specializes in the preservation and restoration of works of art. They use their knowledge of art history, chemistry, and materials science to assess the condition of works of art, and to develop and implement conservation treatments. Art conservators may work in museums, galleries, libraries, or private studios.

A major in art history can provide a strong foundation for a career as an art conservator. Art history majors learn about the history of art, the different styles and movements in art, and the materials and techniques used to create works of art. They also develop strong research and analytical skills. These skills are essential for art conservators, who need to be able to identify and evaluate works of art, and to understand the materials and techniques used to create them.

Many successful art conservators have a major in art history. For example, Joyce Hill Stoner, one of the most respected art conservators in the world, has a degree in art history from the University of California, Berkeley. Stoner has worked on the conservation of some of the world’s most famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

If you are interested in a career as an art conservator, a major in art history can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful. Art history majors learn about the history of art, the different styles and movements in art, and the materials and techniques used to create works of art. They also develop strong research and analytical skills. These skills are essential for art conservators, who need to be able to identify and evaluate works of art, and to understand the materials and techniques used to create them.

Art appraiser

An art appraiser is a professional who determines the value of works of art. They use their knowledge of art history, the art market, and appraisal methods to assess the authenticity, condition, and value of works of art. Art appraisers may work for auction houses, insurance companies, banks, or private clients.

  • Authentication

    Art appraisers use their knowledge of art history and the art market to authenticate works of art. They examine the work of art, compare it to other works by the same artist, and research the provenance of the work of art to determine if it is genuine.

  • Condition assessment

    Art appraisers also assess the condition of works of art. They examine the work of art for any damage or deterioration, and they may also use scientific methods to test the work of art’s materials and construction.

  • Valuation

    Art appraisers use their knowledge of the art market and appraisal methods to value works of art. They consider the artist’s reputation, the rarity of the work of art, the condition of the work of art, and the current trends in the art market to determine the value of the work of art.

  • Reporting

    Art appraisers typically prepare a written report that includes their findings and conclusions. This report may be used for insurance purposes, estate planning, or other purposes.

A major in art history can provide a strong foundation for a career as an art appraiser. Art history majors learn about the history of art, the different styles and movements in art, and the factors that influence the value of art. They also develop strong research and analytical skills. These skills are essential for art appraisers, who need to be able to identify and evaluate works of art, and to understand the market for art.

FAQs on “what can I do with a major in art history?”

Individuals pursuing an art history degree often have questions about their future career prospects. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to provide insight into the diverse career paths available to art history graduates:

Question 1: What are the job prospects for art history majors?

Art history graduates have a wide range of career options in the arts, culture, and education sectors. They can work in museums, galleries, libraries, auction houses, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, they can pursue careers in art appraisal, art conservation, and art education.

Question 2: Is an art history degree only suitable for those interested in becoming artists?

No, an art history degree is not limited to aspiring artists. It provides a solid foundation for various careers that involve the study, preservation, and appreciation of art. Graduates can work as curators, art historians, art critics, and educators, among other professions.

Question 3: What skills do art history majors develop?

Art history majors develop a diverse set of skills, including critical thinking, analytical abilities, research skills, visual literacy, and communication skills. They also gain knowledge of art history, theory, and criticism.

Question 4: Can I pursue a career in business with an art history degree?

Yes, an art history degree can be an asset in business careers. The skills developed in art history, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, are valuable in various business sectors, including marketing, consulting, and finance.

Question 5: What are the earning prospects for art history majors?

The earning potential for art history majors varies depending on their career path and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, museum curators and archivists earn a median annual salary of around $48,000, while art historians earn a median annual salary of around $63,000.

Question 6: What are some tips for succeeding in an art history program?

To succeed in an art history program, it is important to develop strong research and writing skills, actively participate in class discussions, and visit museums and galleries to gain practical experience. Additionally, networking with professionals in the field can provide valuable insights and opportunities.

In summary, an art history degree opens doors to a diverse range of career paths, providing graduates with the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities necessary to succeed in various fields.

Transition to the next article section:

To explore specific career options and industry trends in art history, continue reading the following sections.

Tips for Success with an Art History Degree

To thrive in an art history program and set yourself up for a successful career, consider these valuable tips:

Tip 1: Cultivate Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills

Art history demands critical thinking and analytical abilities. Engage actively in class discussions, ask questions, and challenge perspectives to develop a discerning eye and a nuanced understanding of art and its contexts.

Tip 2: Enhance Research and Writing Proficiency

Art history involves extensive research and writing. Hone your research skills by utilizing academic databases, primary sources, and scholarly publications. Develop clear and concise writing abilities to effectively communicate your ideas and interpretations.

Tip 3: Visit Museums and Galleries Regularly

Immerse yourself in the world of art by visiting museums and galleries. Observe artworks firsthand, study their techniques, and engage with curators and docents to gain practical knowledge and deepen your appreciation.

Tip 4: Participate in Internships and Projects

Seek opportunities for internships or research projects in museums, galleries, or art organizations. Hands-on experience will provide valuable insights into the inner workings of the art world and enhance your professional skills.

Tip 5: Explore Interdisciplinary Connections

Art history intersects with various disciplines such as history, literature, and philosophy. Explore these connections by taking courses or attending lectures outside of your major. A broader perspective will enrich your understanding of art’s role in society and culture.

By embracing these tips, you will not only excel in your art history program but also lay a solid foundation for a fulfilling career in the dynamic and ever-evolving art world.

Conclusion

An art history degree opens doors to a multitude of fulfilling and impactful career paths. From preserving cultural heritage in museums and galleries to shaping public discourse as an art critic or historian, art history graduates possess the knowledge and skills to make meaningful contributions to society.

Whether you aspire to lead groundbreaking exhibitions, conduct in-depth research, or inspire future generations through art education, an art history degree empowers you to pursue your passions and make a tangible difference in the world. Embrace the opportunities presented by this dynamic field and embark on a journey of discovery, creativity, and lifelong learning.


Unveil a World of Possibilities: Discover Thrilling Careers with an Art History Degree