A liberal arts education opens onto many possible career paths. Many of our majors and minors go on to professional schools and into the business world. That said, many of our majors and minors also pursue careers in Art History and related fields. Here you will find some ideas about what those careers might be, and some useful information about graduate study, which is often a prerequisite for those career paths. You might also want to consult the Dartmouth College Center for Professional Development website.
Careers in Art History
Here are some examples of what these might be:
- College-level teaching
- Museum work
- Freelance writing
- Art Dealer
- Art librarian
- Visual resource materials librarian
- Independent producer
- Art preservation and conservation
- Architectural conservation
- Historic Preservation
- Corporate art curator
- Art investment
- Art law
- Governmental agencies (Arts Administration)
- Artists' representative
- Art galleries
For a successful career in art history, it is usually necessary to pursue graduate study.
Types of degrees:
- The M.A., a 1–2 year course, consisting of classes and independent research, culminating in a Master’s thesis.
- The Ph.D., an intense course of study, focusing on independent research, but usually requiring about two years of course work followed by several years of dissertation research and writing.
If you are interested in applying to graduate school, you should speak to a faculty member in the Department of Art History. They can help you think about what area you might want to study, and then guide you to information about particular university programs that match your interests. Most of the major Art History graduate programs have a departmental website with information on faculty, curriculum, application procedures and financial aid. One can also consult the publication Graduate Programs in Art History: the CAA Directory, put out by the College Art Association of America (New York, 2008; Sherman Art Library ref. N385 .G73 2008).