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3 Tutorials that teach Careers in Art History
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Careers in Art History

Careers in Art History

Author: Ian McConnell
Description:

This lesson will explore some of the careers that require a knowledge of art history.

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Tutorial

Art History Careers

Exploring careers in art history.

Citations: 1.11
Image of MOMA Creative Commons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WLA_moma_Claude_Monet_Reflections_of_Clouds_on_the_Water-Lily_Pond.jpg; Image of Adele Bloch-Bauer Public Domain http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/gustav-klimt/portrait-of-adele-bloch-bauer-i-1907-1; Image of Historical Society (copyright, but allowed for commercial use) Photo © by Jeff Dean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:State-historical-society.jpg; Photo of Capella Tower Public Domain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:225_South_Sixth_from_street.jpg

Video Transcription

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello. I'd like to welcome you to this episode of Exploring Art History with Ian. My name is Ian McConnell. And today's lesson is about careers in art history. As you're watching the video, feel free to pause, move forward, or rewind as many times as you feel is necessary. As soon as you're ready, we can begin.

Today's objectives, or the things you're going to learn today, are listed below. By the end of the lesson today, you will be able to identify and define today's key terms, identify careers that directly involve art history, and identify careers or areas where art-history skills can be applied. Key terms, as always, are listed in yellow throughout the lesson.

First key term is "curator"-- a person who creates exhibitions for museums by grouping together works of art according to a common theme. A graphic designer is someone who is skilled in the art of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books. An arts librarian is someone who helps acquire and classify books on art, journal articles, and digital sources. An art appraiser is someone who determines the value of works of art based on their materials, beauty, and authenticity. The big idea for today-- the common thread or theme that runs throughout this lesson-- is that art history is a discipline that has many direct and indirect applications to a wide variety of careers.

So how can art history land me a job? Well, art history has applications in a variety of careers, and the applications being direct or indirect. And why do we care, well, other than the fact that you'd like to get a job?

Some careers where an art-history education is directly applicable would be as a museum curator, art-history professor, or arts librarian, among others. And a career in art history is not limited to just art or art-related fields. An art-history education helps to hone critical-thinking skills, the ability to analyze data, and creative problem-solving-- skills that are in high demand-- and applied to careers in teaching, contract management, and business administration, to name a few.

So I pulled a few potential career paths to give you a bit more information about what each does. Those that decide to continue their art-history education at the master's or PhD level could apply their finally developed skill set as a museum curator. Museum curators are responsible for much more than wearing sleek, modern clothing and interesting eyeglass frames.

It's a really interesting job that covers a wide range of duties, depending on the size of the establishment they're working for and the type of artwork that's being showcased. Some duties include acquiring artwork, planning and managing art exhibits, research and publishing-- usually at larger, higher-profile galleries or museums, like the Museum of Modern Art in New York-- managing the transportation of exhibits and works of art, and physical care of the artwork, in some cases. At larger galleries or museums, curators are usually focused on one particular area, like ancient Egyptian art, as a subject-matter expert.

Another cool career opportunity is as an art appraiser. An art appraiser's main responsibilities include the authentication of artwork-- which means validating that a piece of artwork is indeed made by a particular artist-- and evaluation of works of art to determine a price for that particular piece. So remember, art is a business. And any time money or assets are changing hands, people want to make sure that they're as informed as possible.

Another aspect of art appraisal is the demand for a particular piece of art. And this is determined by a number of factors, such as the reputation of the artist and the number of works they produced. And this information is useful for auction houses in determining a reserve price, or the minimum price that's willing to be accepted at an auction.

So art appraisers can find employment at places like museums, auction houses, as previously mentioned, as independent contractors, insurance companies, who protect the investments of owners of works of art. For example, how do you place a price on the Mona Lisa? Well, in truth, it's priceless and irreplaceable. But before it went on tour in 1962, the Mona Lisa was appraised at-- and this is adjusted for inflation-- around $750 million.

And finally, other careers-- other career areas where art-history skills are applicable. And an education in art history is transferable-- just like I told my parents-- really, any job that requires a person with excellent critical-thinking skills, the ability to communicate visually, and the ability to analyze data. So that brings us to the end of this lesson. Let's take a look at our objectives to see if we met them.

Now that you've seen the lesson, are you able to identify and define today's key terms? Can you identify careers that directly involve art history? And can you identify careers or areas where art-history skills can be applied? The big idea-- or common theme or thread-- throughout this lesson is that art history is a discipline that has many direct and indirect applications to a wide variety of careers.

Well, that brings us to the end of this lesson. I'd like to thank you for joining me. And I'll see you next time.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Graphic Designer

    Someone who is skilled in the art of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.

  • Art Appraiser

    Someone who determines the value of works of art based on their materials, beauty, and authenticity.

  • Arts Librarian

    Someone who helps acquire and classify books on art, journal articles, and digital sources.

  • Curator

    A person who creates exhibitions for museums, by grouping together works of art according to a common theme.