Ever since I took AP Art History in high school I have always considered majoring in art history. I truly enjoyed learning about key architectural terms and memorizing all the paintings, because when I went to the Louvre in Paris, I totally showed off to my family. But society has long, and still does, deemed an art history major as “a waste of money and worthless.” Well, I’m here to prove them wrong.
I get it. Majoring in art history isn’t something that will most likely land you a job right after graduation. However, there are so many upsides to having a major or minor in art history that it outweighs all the cons.
Art history is a key element in defining our world’s culture. With centuries of skilled artists, bold movements and ever-changing artistic elements, art history combines visual art with key movements in history. With an art history major, you get to learn why Jackson Pollock’s splash art was so vivid while also uncovering the long withstanding mystery of the Mona Lisa!
Art history combines the past with the present in understanding what makes our society what it is. It analyzes key artistic and architectural elements that have paved the way to what our society has become today.
Most people don’t bother majoring in art history because they are worried about the prospects of getting a job. But this should not be a worry. A degree in art history can literally open endless opportunities. With an art history degree, you can still apply to post graduate programs like MBA, MD, and JD. In fact, MD programs encourage undergraduate students to major in something interesting like art history because it brings diversity to their campus! In addition, if you are insistent of having a career in art history, you can go on to pursue your PhD in an art history concentration and become a professor or curator of a museum. And if any of those don’t seem interesting enough, you can go onto work for an auction house, become a gallery curator, and yes, work for the art law. It’s a thing.
Even if none of those sound appealing, majoring in art history will actually be very beneficial for you. Although art history does require intense amounts of memorization, it also requires to you critically think and analyze art pieces in terms of specific contexts. Because of this, you will be forced to think critically and abstractly in analyzing and synthesizing forms of art mediums to better understand the world around you. Basically, you are going to develop some insane critical thinking skills.
If art history is a major that you have always considered but were too afraid to go into, try taking a few introductory courses to see whether or not you like it. If you do, go ahead and pursue it. You will be much better off studying what you want rather than what society wants.
There are no schools that are go-to for art history majors. However, there are many schools that are famed for stellar art history programs. Here they are:
- Columbia University
- University of Pennsylvania
- New York University
- University of Chicago
- Yale University
- Pomona College