Career Paths

Harlequin with a Guitar by Juan Gris

Career Paths for Graduates: In recent years increased public interest in, and support for, areas related to art history has led to considerable growth and expansion in the career paths available to those with expertise in the field.

For example, the museum world is in the midst of the greatest vitality and public support it has ever known. Magnificent exhibitions are being mounted throughout the world, and large and small museums are playing an increasingly prominent role in the lives of communities. Art historians with advanced degrees are often at the center of this growing excitement, serving as senior administrators or curators. Professional and staff positions for students receiving a bachelor's degree are available in museum education, development, publicity, visual resources management, sales and rental galleries, and corporate art services.

State and local arts councils have become increasingly active advocates of educational programs and enrichment activities connected with the fine arts, photography, and architecture. In addition, the conservation of architecture and of historic sites has emerged as a widespread and influential public concern in recent years, and often it has been art historians, working either with public agencies or private businesses, who have spearheaded efforts to preserve our cultural heritage and to extend the public legacy of the arts. Commerical galleries and auction houses have also enjoyed much attention in recent years, and art history graduates have also become actively involved in these concerns. The art "business" is booming, and knowledgeable people are needed to work in insurance and security firms, as discussed in the video excerpt from a lecture by Robert Wittman, founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, delivered at UD in 2013.

"At a loss for what to do? Why not History of Art?": Article by Matt Lodder in The Independent, September 22, 2015

How being a humanities major could get you into medical school: Story by Julie Rovner heard on NPR, May 27, 2015

News Journal article on the value of a humanities degree by Matthew Kinservik, Associate Dean for the Humanities at the University of Delaware, January 29, 2014

Lecture by Robert Wittman at the University of Delaware, April 9, 2013 (video)

Career Options:

Career Alternatives for Art Historians, compiled by Charles M. Rosenberg

The Real Art World: A Guide to Careers for Art History Students, by Alexander Nagel and Eisee Sylvester (2005) (PDF)


UD's Career Service Center

Capital One Retail Management Development Internship - University of Delaware (PDF)