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 Real Art World: A Guide to Careers for Art History Students, by Alexander Nagel and Eisee Sylvester (PDF)
Career Alternatives for Art Historians, compiled by Charles M. Rosenberg
News Journal article on the value of a humanities degree by Matt Kinservik, Associate Dean for the Humanities at the University of Delaware, January 29, 2014