Should I major in Art History? What do I learn?

Should I major in Art History? What do I learn?

What is art history?


A work of art can be a historical structure, a museum display, a film or a book. Some works of art can contain poetry and remoteness. Change, culture, criticism, and admiration are all parts of art history. Studying a major in Art History may appear to be a ‘romantic affair’ that only the artistic minds can pursue. However, similar to other disciplines, searching and evaluating documents are just two examples of the practical skills that need to be honed in order to expand the range of employment in the workplace more quickly and thoroughly, and to be prepared for the future.

Additionally, the capacity to convey ideas, ability in interpersonal communication and the appreciation in art are some of the skills required for admissions into galleries, auction houses, and foundation collections as well as for future research as a teacher.


What do you typically learn in school if you major in Art History?


The study of artworks within the context of their historical development and style is known as art history. When students major in Art History, they learn about Painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, furniture, and other Art History adornments. Fundamental courses in art history consist of Methodology of Art History and Theory, 19th-century Art, Modern Art, Art after Modernism, Postmodern Art, History of The Renaissance, History of Latin America, and Gothic and Baroque styles are all covered. In some schools, feminism as a form of artistic expression is also studied.

In the broader scope, Art History covers anthropology, archaeological knowledge, Latin language, literature, cinematography, photography, library science, computer skills and more. While some institutions do not require students to master any software or technology, others will integrate computers with the creative arts.

When students major in Art History, the curriculum teaches them about the histories of the various ethnic groups and cultures that are depicted in the artwork. Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), digital designs, and 3D printers are just a few of the technological and social media innovations that have drastically altered the way that contemporary art is produced, viewed, and shared in our interconnected world.


Careers in Art History


Career path after getting a major in Art History is very fulfilling. Students can become directors or curators of museums, galleries, arts organizations, archives and libraries. They can also choose to work as editors or writers for art journals and other media.

Careers available for art history graduates include but are not limited to: Advertising, Architectural Conservation, Architecture, Archivists, Community College Teacher, Design, Editor, Event Planner, Fundraiser, Gallery Management, Arts Grant Officer, Heritage Policy, Interior/Fashion Designer, Journalist, Landscape Architect, Attorney, Marketing & Communications, Media & Communication, Museum Curators, Museum.


Media and Broadcast Assistant

A Media and Broadcast Assistant is responsible for creating marketing materials for a variety of well-known sites, including graphics as necessary. With a major in Art History, employees should also create and keep a client database, perform social media analytics, and keep track of promotions and messages. They need to provide editing and writing support for product sheets, social media posts, and other documents. Lastly, organize data, schedules, and reports related to marketing, communications, and events.


Modern and Contemporary Art Curator

Art curators need to be able to identify extremely high-quality work, able to build and foster strong, trusted collaborative relationships at all levels – trusted partners, guaranteed disability and insurance benefits, discounts offered by provincial/municipal reciprocal agreements. They need to possess the ability to lead and effectively deliver on curatorial priorities including exhibition development, curation and collections architectural planning, construction and display of permanent collections of modern and contemporary art. 

They are tasked to create, organize and execute major exhibitions and interpret artworks, identify and study major trends in visual arts, stimulate meaningful understanding of modern and contemporary art in relevant ways through issues and opportunities, in collaboration with artists and donors. Art curators should also realize each other’s value by taking responsibility for coaching, motivating and developing their workforce.


Museum curator

A museum curator is responsible for overseeing museum operations and off-site storage. Build rapport with art donors and negotiate for specific collections or individual items. Assist with planning and special events. Assist in developing long-term plans for rotating exhibitions with the goal of attracting new and diverse audiences. To ensure the museum’s philosophy is followed, they need to work with Collections Committee all the time for proper coordination.


Universities that offer students a major in Art History

  1. Harvard University – Department of History of Art and Architecture
  2. Yale University – Department of the History of Art
  3. Princeton University – Department of Art and Archaeology
  4. Columbia University – Department of Art History and Archaeology
  5. University of Oxford – Faculty of History of Art
  6. University of Cambridge – Department of History of Art
  7. University College London (UCL) – Department of History of Art
  8. Courtauld Institute of Art (London, UK)
  9. Sorbonne University (Paris, France) – Department of Art History and Archaeology
  10. University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan) – Department of Art History and Aesthetics
These universities often have world-class faculty, extensive research resources, and access to renowned museums and art collections, providing an enriching environment for studying a major in Art History. It’s important to note that admission to these universities can be highly competitive, and additional application requirements, such as writing samples or portfolios, may be necessary for Art History programs.

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