CAREER ALTERNATIVES FOR ART HISTORIANS


Compiled by Charles M. Rosenberg
E-mail: Rosenberg.1@nd.edu

In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education ("No More Plan B,"' October 9, 2011), Anthony Grafton advised faculty who were charged with counseling and training students pursuing graduate study in history not to think of a tenure-track job in academia as the only and ideal future job, but to realize that the prospect of the number of academic jobs and new Ph.D.'s approaching one another in the near future is extremely unlikely. Therefore, students need to be made aware that the skills which they are developing --"doing research; conceptualizing relationships between structure, agency, and culture; combining research and analysis to present arguments with clarity and economy; knowing how to plan and carry out long-term projects" -- are all transferable to a wide range of occupations.

This observation also holds true for students pursuing a degree in art history. In addition to the specific research and rhetorical skills which Grafton identifies as vital to the training which students of history have developed, one can also add an ability to analyze and "read" images as carriers of implicit and explicit meaning, to the young art historian's list. This is a skill which is becoming progressively more significant as we move towards a more and more visually oriented world.

Given this reality, probably the best advice which one can give to a student thinking about majoring in art history, but also appropriately concerned about what impact such a decision might have on her or his future ability to have and hold a job, is to think creatively and flexibly about what it is he or she is learning. Try not to conceive of your education as providing you with a set of arcane and curious facts and interpretations, but rather to think of it as equipping you with a broad range of analytical strategies which can be applied in any number of different kinds of situations. If you think this way, you can both follow your passion and put food on your table.

CR
 

TABLE of CONTENTS

Computer skills including familiarity with e-mail, Internet discussion groups and the WWW are essential for almost all positions which require writing and research.
Antiquarian Book Trade Antiques Dealer Architectural Conservation Art Advisor Art Consultant: Hotels Art Gallery Art Investment
Artist Representative Art Law and Law Enforcement Art Librarian Arts Organization Consultant Corporate Curator Curatorial Consultant
Estate and Art Appraiser Freelance Collection Manager Freelance Writing Governmental Agencies Independent Producer: Film & TV Museum Work
Preservation and Conservation Publishing Teaching Visual Resource Curator Sample Advertisements Other Useful Links for Information, Jobs, and Internships

Teaching

(Positions advertised by the CAA  and the British Association for Art History, and occasionally The Chronicle for Higher Education, H-Net's Job Guide, Higher Education Jobs.com, HERC and Academic Keys for the Fine Arts.  Position applications/positions data published in the CAA News at the end of each year.) 
 
  1. PhD in art history
  2. German, French, and other appropriate languages
  3. Research oriented
  4. Maximum involvement with people
  5. Good writing and communication skills essential
  6. Travel and study abroad may be important depending on field
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Museum Work

(Positions advertised in AVISO, MERC and by the CAA. Additional information and copies of Aviso can be gotten by contacting the American Association of Museums, 1225 Eye St., NW, Ste. 200, Washington, D.C. 20005, tel. 202-289-1818.  The AAM also has jobs listed on their website. Three other sources of information are Museum Job Resources On Line, a site about careers in the field with links to other resources, the Museum Resource Board, an on-line bulletin board with a museum locator, and limited listings of internships and museum positions, and the Museum Studies site maintained by the Smithsonian Institution which has information relevant not only to Art Museums but many other types. The site of the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries - ACUMG - also occasionally publishes jobs.) An interesting article on a "training program" for curators at the new founded Center for Curatorial Leadership preparing them to become museum directors was published by the New York Times on January 29, 2008. This article implicitly talks about the responsibilities of both curators and directors. An incredibly useful site for learning about various museum training programs and about the responsibilities of those involved in museum administration is maintained by the Smithsonian Institute. A listing of Museum Studies Programs is maintained by ACUMG under the section "Learn with us."

Curatorial (For information about the profession of art curator and a listing of positions see the site of the Association of Art Museum Curators [AAMC].)

  1. PhD in art history normally expected, depending on the institution
  2. German, French and/or other appropriate languages
  3. Research oriented (may start out as research assistant)
  4. Some involvement with people, ability to collaborate
  5. Intellectual creativity and curiosity

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the follow numbers for May 2005 and May 2011 for employment and average salary for curators (which does not mean only art museum curators). 2005: 8790 jobs with an average pay of $49,180; 2011: 10340 jobs with an average pay of $53,540.

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Education

  1. MA in art history
  2. Languages may be necessary, e.g , Spanish, in order to be able to work with an ethnically diverse audience
  3. Some research depending on level of audience
  4. Maximum involvement with people
  5. Good communication skills essential

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the follow numbers for May 2004 and May 2011 for employment and average salary for two categories of museum educators (which does not mean only art museum educators). 2004, Teachers: 4180 jobs with an average pay of $32,000, and Instructional coordinators: 1520 jobs with an average pay of $36,480; 2011: Teachers: 4760 jobs with an average pay of $37,000, and Instructional coordinators: 2030 jobs with an average pay of $44,820.

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Exhibition installation

  1. BA; MA may be helpful
  2. No language necessary
  3. No research
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Some artistic training and mechanical skill

For employment statistics see below under conservation which reports the category "museum technicians and conservators." Under the category of set and exhibit designers for museums, historical sites and similar institutions the Bureau of Labor Statistic lists the following numbers for May 2004 and May 2011: 2004, 770 jobs with an average salary of $38,200; 2011, 1080 jobs with an average salary of $48,410.

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Administration

  1. BA; MA in museology and PhD in art history for top positions
  2. No languages necessary
  3. No research except for fund-raising
  4. Some to maximum involvement with people
  5. Business skills normally useful, including clerical skills; ability to manipulate databases and spreadsheets
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Reproductions and Retailing (courtesy of Doris Birmingham)

  1. BA
  2. No languages necessary
  3. No research except perhaps in legal areas
  4. Some to maximum involvement with people
  5. Business, clerical, and communication skills, normally necessary
  6. This area can include everything from working in a museum store, to overseeing the selection, production and marketing of museum reproductions. If involved with the latter aspect, should have some familiarity with copyright law and artists' rights, though this could be acquired on the job. Also some design skills may be useful.


Conservation (see below)

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Publishing*

There is an independent Association of Art Editors which maintains an informative website.
  1. BA; MA or PhD useful but not necessary (depending on the type of publisher, e.g. academic, commercial, independent; and position)
  2. Languages often needed
  3. Research depends on position; copy editor - none; editor - some; writer - a lot
  4. Significant involvement with people
  5. Business and/or graphic design skills along with good writing skills are useful or essential depending on position; possibility of free-lancing
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Freelance Writing

(Criticism, Art History, Art-Related Travel, etc.) There exists an Association of Art Editors which will give you some indication of the current state of this profession and whih also has very useful links. There is also an International Association of Art Critics which may also beof interest. (Thanks to Judith Rodenbeck for this information.)
     
  1. BA in art history; advanced degrees may help to open some doors
  2. Languages may be necessary
  3. Research necessary
  4. Some involvement with people; may need to be aggressive in obtaining assignments or marketing work
  5. Excellent communication and writing skills
  6. High tolerance for economic uncertainty
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Antiques Dealer

(Courtesy of Lynne N. Reno, Edinboro University) (For further information see Antique Dealers, Chronicle Guidance Publications, brief 617) (For The National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America [N.A.A.D.A.A.] visit their website.   There is also an international clearing house for art and antique dealer associations with the acronym CINOA which stands for Confédération Internationale des Negociants en Ouevre d'Art which will connect with professional organizations in 34 countries.)

 BA in art history or the equivalent, with some knowledge of the history of photography and decorative arts and details of furniture construction.  An internship or experience in auction house may be useful.  Some dealers started in the family business or are collectors who are self-taught.
  1. Foreing languages are useful but not necessary
  2. Good research skills are essential.  A dealer should be familiar with a wide range of reference materials about maker's marks, imprints, the history of technology and design, as well as prints and drawings.
  3. Requires significant interaction with people if one runs a shop.  A dealer can also rent space in an antiques mall or sell exclusively over the internet.
  4. Good business and accounting skills are essential.  One also needs some knowledge of tax laws.  Membership in professional organizations such as the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America (212-826-9707) and Antique Dealers League of America (212-879-7558) are useful.
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Art Librarian

For additional information contact ARLIS. ARLIS maintains a job posting link and internship roster. ARLIS/NA has an Internship Award program. ARLIS/NA has this program will provide financial support for students preparing for a career in art librarianship or visual resource curatorship. Recognizing that practical experience is one of the most useful educational tools, this award currently (2008) provides $2500.00 to support a period of internship in an art library or visual resources collection for the recipient. The society also has a few awards available for students who wish to attend the annual conference.
  1. Usually MA in art history and MLS
  2. French, German, and other languages often necessary
  3. Some research covering a wide gamut of topics
  4. Some to maximum involvement with people
  5. Good communication and writing skills
  6. Excellent administration/management skills
  7. Computer and image technology skills
  8. Attention to detail
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Visual Resources Curator (Education and Industry)

(for additional information contact Visual Resource Association, VRA) (In January 2000, ARLIS/NA announced its first Internship Award. ARLIS/NA has established an endowment fund that will provide financial support for students preparing for a career in art librarianship or visual resource curatorship. Recognizing that practical experience is one of the most useful educational tools, this award will provide $1000.00 to support a period of internship in an art library or visual resources collection for the recipient.)
  1. BA or MA in art history, MLS becoming more necessary
  2. French, German, or other languages may be necessary
  3. Some involvement with people; patience
  4. Knowledge of computer programs for slide cataloguing and familiarity with the issues concerning image digitization
  5. Knowledge of basic photographic techniques for the production of slides
  6. Openness to technology and technological change
  7. Attention to detail

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the follow numbers for May 2005 and May 2011 for employment and average salary for audio-visual (or audio-visual and multi-media) collection specialists. 2005: 6910 jobs with an average pay of $41,100; 2011: 7740 jobs with an average pay of $45,910.

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Art and Estate Appraiser

(Courtesy of Lynne N. Reno, Edinboro University)  There are several professional organizations for appraisers, including the Appraisers Association of America, which maintains a list of appraisers and also publishes a code of uniform standards, American Society of Appraisers, which has a Job Bank its website, and the International Society of Appraisers which is more generally concerned with personal property appraisal than art appraising. Uniform standards applicable to a wide range of objects and real property are also developed and maintained by The Appraisal Foundation.
  1. Certifact in appraisal studies.  New York University offers a Certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts.  Edinboro University offers courses for estate appraisers and liquidators at major cities throughout the country.
  2. No foreign languages are necessary, but Spanish may be an asset.
  3. Research skills are essential.  An appraiser should be familiar with a wide range of reference materials about maker's marks, imprints, the history of technology and design, as well as prints and drawings.  Attention to detail essential.  Good writing skills.  Knowledge of IRS standards for appraisals.
  4. Maximum involvement with people.  Requires diplomacy in dealing with trust officers, antique dealers, and family of the deceased.  High ethical standards and integrity are essential.
  5. Knowledge of on-line reference tools.  Membership in profession organizations such as Appraisers Association of America (212-889-5404) or American Society of Professional Appraisers (770-729-8400).  Subscription to various trade papers such as The New York-Pennsylvania Collector.  Since appraising can have serious tax repercussions, there are federal and state regulations which effect this profession.  Information regarding federal regulations is available at the ASC (Appraisal Subcommittee) website which has links to individual state regulatory sites.

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Independent Producer: TV and Film Documentaries

  1. BA; MA or beyond useful but not necessary
  2. Languages may be necessary
  3. Research necessary
  4. Maximum involvement with people
  5. Background in TV or film production; good business and writing skills; strong organizational skills
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Preservation and Conservation

(with the advice of Irene Brueckle)(for additional information contact the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), 1717 K St. NW, Ste. 301, Washington, DC 20006, phone 202-452-9545, fax 202-452-9328, e-mail: jennaic@aol.com). The AIC also maintains an on-line resource called CoOL. An article by Valentine Walsh, a conservator based in London, entitled "So What Is That Conservators Can Do?" gives some idea of the processes involved in painting conservation, in particular.
  1. BA or beyond in art history with special training in conservation and restoration; many graduate programs are awarding an MA or certificate in art conservation (Programs are available at NYU, SUC at Buffalo, University of Delaware and Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario).
  2. Languages may be useful
  3. Research oriented
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Good background in organic and inorganic chemistry and physics, as well as studio techniques; manual deterity, attention to detail.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the follow numbers for May 2005 and May 2011 for employment and average salary for museum technicians and conservators (which does not mean only art museum technicians and conservators). 2005: 9370 jobs with an average pay of $37,320; 2011: 10470 jobs with an average pay of $42,450.

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Architectural Conservation

(courtesy of Doris Birmingham and Deborah Marrow)(for further information contact the The National Trust for Historic Preservation)
  1. BA; MA or beyond useful with a special knowledge of architectural traditions, including interior design; BA or MA in architecture and specialized training in conservation techniques for work at the highest level.
  2. Languages only necessary as one is involved with international projects
  3. Research often necessary
  4. A great deal of involvement with people
  5. Depending on whether one is working as a employee of a governmental office, a not-for-profit group, or as a private consultant, knowledge of the law, zoning ordinances, estimating procedures, etc., can be necessary. A certain amount of political savvy also is useful particularly if one is attached to a government agency or not-for-profit group.
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Art Galleries and Auction Houses

(for profit - see below for non-profit, both Sotheby's and Christie's have web sites.  For information about the Art Dealers Association of America (A.D.A.A.),  the National Art & Antiques Association of America (N.A.D.A.A.) and  New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) visit their websites.  There is also an international clearing house for art and antique dealer associations with the acronym CINOA which stands for Confédération Internationale des Negociants en Ouevre d'Art which will connect with professional organizations in 34 countries.)
  1. BA; MA or PhD may be necessary depending on position and type of gallery
  2. Languages may be useful
  3. Depending on position can be research-oriented or not at all
  4. Maximum involvement with people
  5. Depending on position good business, marketing, communication and writing skills may be necessary; training in connoisseurship.  There is an interesting article about new art dealers in the New York and environs in the January 23, 2004, edition of the New York Times, entitled "How an Art Scene Became a Youthscape."  This article indicates how some of the newer dealers came to the profession.  Most of them worked for established dealers before striking out on their own. 
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Art Gallery (non-profit)

(courtesy of Lisa Lodeski)
  1. BA; MA or Ph.D. may be helpful, but not necessary
  2. No languages necessary
  3. Research may be necessary
  4. Maximum involvement with people
  5. Good business, marketing, communication and writing skills; fundraising skills; flexibility; diplomacy; ability to motivate others; sensitivity to artists' needs; and, depending on the scale of the gallery, experience in exhibition design, curatorial work, sales, and art education can all be useful
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Corporate Curator

  1. BA; MA or PhD may be helpful (Apple Computer advertised in 1992/93 for a curator for their company museum)
  2. Languages may be necessary depending on the nature of the collection
  3. Some research
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Ability to communicate particularly with people not necessarily knowledgeable about art; may also need installation and interpretive skills; training in connoisseurship; ability to manipulate databases for record maintenance. There are also businesses, such as Nixon Art Associates, Inc., which provide collection management and advising services.

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Art Consultant: Hotels

(courtesy of Minda Dowling)(For an example of a current art consultancy see Artefact Hotel Art Consultants.)  

  1. BA in art history, with an understanding and interest in architecture and interior design, including furniture.
  2. Languages not necessary, though if you are interested in working for an international clientele and commissioning works from non-English speaking artists, then languages are very helpful.
  3. Your will need to research various styles of art and be familiar with contemporary artists, in order to match work to location and client desires.
  4. Maximum involvement with people. Good interpersonal skills are essential for interacting with both clients and artists.
  5. One must be a self-motivated in order to identify potential projects and develop clients. Good business acumen. One should be able to interpret the desires of non-art-oriented clients, and be able to act as a bridge between artist and client. Excellent organizational skills with attention to detail paramount. Interest and openness to all types of artwork.

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Art Investment

(See article in the Wall Street Journal for February 3, 1998, p. A8, "Gallery Dealer Prepares to Start Fund To Invest in Prominent Works of Art.") (See also Art Appraisal entry) Another, perhaps not totally appealing aspect of art investment is the concept of an "Art Pawnshop" where art objects are used as collateral for major loans. On the "pawnshop" idea see the article which appeared in the New York Times on February 24, 2009. A good example of a firm which characterizes all of the various aspects of this career is Artvest. They were called on to do an independent evaluation of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art during the bankruptcy proceedings in July 2014.
  1. BA in art history; BBA and/or MBA (may wish to take an MA in art history, as well)
  2. No languages necessary
  3. Some research
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Good business and investment skills; training in connoisseurship; good communication skills; familiarity with financial software; tolerance for risk.
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Art Law

(Conservation, Restoration, Artists' Rights, Art and Antiquities Shipping and Insurance, etc.)  (There are a variety of volunteer lawyers organizations which are dedicated to helping artists, one example is the New York VLA.) (There is a not-for-profit California association for art lawyers.)  (There is also a New York-based artist's rights organization, the Artists' Rights Society,  which is involved in insuring that copyright is respected and artist's fees are collected. ) (There is an interesting blog maintained by Donn Zaretsky on art law which can give you some idea of the field, and another maintained by the law firm Sheppard Mullin.)
  1. BA and/or MA in art history; JD possibly in contract law (Columbia University has a Center for Law and the Arts)
  2. No languages necessary
  3. Research oriented
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Good business and communication skills

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Law Enforcement.

The FBI maintains a 12-person Art Crime Team which investigates art thefts and fraud. To see what their program consists of you can visit their website. There is also a very interesting site documenting art crimes and security issue by the Netherlands-based Museum Security Network.
  1. BA and/or MA in art history; possibly JD, and other skills needed for a career in law enforcement.
  2. Depending on level language skills could be very necessary
  3. Research oriented
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Good communication skills, tenacity, attention to detail

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Governmental Agencies

(NEA, NEH, Archives of American Art, state and local arts councils, etc. Information about local arts agencies can be obtain from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, 1029 Vermont Avenue NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 347-6352, Fax (202) 737-0526.)
  1. BA, MA and/or PhD can all be appropriate depending on duties
  2. Languages may be necessary
  3. Some to a great deal of research depending on position
  4. Some involvement with people
  5. Good communication and writing skills; political skills
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Artist Representative

(courtesy of Lisa Lodeski)
  1. BA in art history or studio, or equivalent knowledge and experience
  2. Languages usually unnecessary, unless working in an international venue
  3. Some research of markets may be necessary
  4. Some to frequent involvement with people
  5. Business experience (marketing and sales), organizational skills, self-motivation, and a sensitivity to working with artists.
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Arts Organization Consultant

(See Adams and Goldbard Consultants and Slover Linnett Strategies for an illustration of the sorts of projects which can be undertaken)
  1. BA; MBA useful but not necessary
  2. Languages rarely needed
  3. Research depends on the assignment
  4. Significant involvement with people
  5. Business skills, familiarity with legal and political issues, good writing skills are essential; flexibility in working with a wide variety of clients
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Antiquarian Book/Print Trade

(courtesy of Terry Belanger) (There is an Antiquarian Booksellers' Assocation of American, a trade organization associated with The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) ) For a wonderful appreciation of book collecting and selling, see the article which appeared in the New York Times on San Francisco bookseller and bibliophile William Stout.
  1. BA; good knowledge of reference sources in art history, literature, and history
  2. All languages are helpful
  3. Research often necessary
  4. Maximum involvement with people as customers and clients
  5. Ability to work under pressure; good business sense

Art Advisor

For a description of the profession of art advisor see the article in The Wall Street Journal, "Appraising Art Advisers," June 25, 1999, p. W4. There is also an interesting article published in the New York Times on February 28, 2008, entitled the "The Terrible Toll of Art Anxiety," which offers a window into this career. There is also an organization known as the International Association for Professional Art Advisors (IAPAA). Particularly interesting is the membership list on their website, it can be mined for contacts when looking for a job in the field.

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Curatorial Consultant/Freelance Collection Manager

(courtesy of Suzaan Boettger)
  1. BA; MA or PhD may be helpful
  2. Languages may be necessary depending on the nature of the collection
  3. Research varies as per contents of the collection and owner/clients aims
  4. Substantial involvement with people
  5. Ability to interact with a variety of art professionals and to represent a client to them; ability to manage various jobs such as framing, shipping and installation on behalf of a client; ability to represent the best interests of the work of art to non-art professionals, such as a private or corporate collector, his/her family, and/or corporate staff at all levels of heirarchy, including insurers. Superior organizational skills. Attention to details, particularly in respect to record-keeping. Self-motivated and comfortable with the instability and freedom of freelance employment.

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Useful Links

  1. Adrienne DeAngelis' incredibly useful site aptly named Resources in Art History for Graduate Students includes links to internship programs throughout the U.S.
  2. The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is a wonderful resource for all kinds of arts related jobs particularly in the New York area.
  3. Action With Borders maintains a website idealist.org which has searchable databases for jobs and internships where the arts can be added as one of the search criteria.
  4. In 2003, the Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education at the University of Washington conducted a survey of individuals who had earned a doctorate in Art History between 1985 and 1991. They summarized their findings in a study entitled Ph.Ds in Art History: Over a Decade Later. This study is available on-line.
  5. Individual state arts organizations and commissions often have a site for job and internship posting, see, for example, the listing for the Arizona Commission on the Arts or the California Arts Council.
  6. Another site which lists jobs for art historians is http://www.careerjet.com/art-historian-jobs.html.
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A recent (August, 2009) discussion on CAAH, a listserv for art and archtiectural historians maintained by Marilyn Lavin, focused on the dilemma of the un- and underemployed Art History Ph.D. In the course of the discussion, Judith Rodenbeck offered this very apposite summary of the sorts of marketable skills which a recent Ph.D. in the discipline will have developed. Given the current state of the academic marketplace it is probably a very good idea to think about one's skill set as creatively as possible.

"...for any PhD in art history developing [a plan for future employment] ... should include a realistic assessment of your now highly-developed skills and abilities. These skills are, in fact, many and include: foreign language(s); written and verbal expressive competence; logic and argumentation; visual acuity; project management; research; and so on. For some, you are also good at dealing with complex travel logistics and making intelligent long-term decisions based on fragmentary information; for those with quite a bit of experience teaching (let alone navigating the sometimes sharky waters of graduate school) the ability to deal calmly and effectively with a wide range of personalities is important, too. And one other thing: the ability to sustain attention to someone else’s lecture over the course of longer than ten minutes: that is a major skill in today’s info culture."

January 31, 2014. In response to Obama's off-hand remark, “I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art-history degree” (something which is probably true, at least in the SHORT run),Nicole Conti, a graduate student in Art History at the University of Minnesota posted a link on CAAH to very thoughful piece on the value of the liberal arts by Valerie Strauss on her Washington Post blog "The Answer."

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A posting (9-4-01) by Phillip Earenfight, Director of the Juniata College Museum of Art  on CAAH discussion site offers some valuable insights regarding programs which combine a studio/art history/architectural background :
" I find a number of studio/art history/architecture hybrids pursuing careers as museum curators, particularly those who enjoy exercising their creative/design skills in conjunction with academic matters. Also, a number of museum preparators come from studio and art history backgrounds. For Museum studies programs, see the 1999-2000 Guide to Museum Studies and Training in the United States which is available through the American Association of Museums (http://www.aam-us.org/). Outside of the US see the International Council On Museums at: http://www.icom.org/"

Another professional track is art conservation...but this is an extraordinarily competitive track with only 3 graduate programs in the US (State University College at Buffalo, IFA, U Del) and one in Canada (Queen's Univ., Ontario). The entrance requirements are considerable and I am told by my conservators that the waiting lists to get into these programs are lengthy. Also, such programs assume considerable expertise in chemistry and a solid knowledge of biology. For more on conservation programs in the US see: http://aic.stanford.edu/become/ For international programs see: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/bytopic/education/

An interesting tid-bit from The Wall Street Journal posted on the website Art History Newletter

The $64,000-dollar profession

12 December 2008

In the Wall Street Journal, we read that according to “a year-long survey of 1.2 million people with only a bachelor’s degree by PayScale Inc.,” art-history majors have a median starting salary of $35,800. Ten years after graduation, their median salary is $64,900. In that respect, they beat majors in anthropology, biology, criminal justice, drama, education, English, forestry, graphic design, health care administration, hospitality, interior design, music, nutrition, psychology, religion, sociology, and Spanish. That said, philosophy majors are earning a median $81,200 ten years out.


A smattering of representative non-teaching jobs which have recently (2004-2011) appeared:

A site with listings of current art related jobs worth visiting is www.artcareer.net.

[2004] MUSEUM DIRECTOR.  Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri- Columbia

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) seeks an experienced, imaginative director for its Museum of Art and Archaeology, the third-largest visual-arts museum in Missouri.  The Museum has extensive collections of objects from a wide range of cultures.  Its collection of Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern artwork and artifacts is one of the most important of its kind in the United States.  The Museum also has important holdings in European and American art from the fifteenth century to the present, including a Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of European paintings.  East Asian, African, and Pre-Columbian cultures are well represented, and there are significant holdings from ancient Egypt and Byzantium. 

We are looking for a director who will build on the museum's traditional strengths while expanding its central role in the teaching, research, and outreach mission of MU, the flagship campus in the University of Missouri system.  The director is responsible for overseeing museum staff (including an assistant director, two curators, a registrar, a preparator, graduate-student interns, and other support staff); guiding the expansion, curatorship, and conservation of the holdings; managing an active exhibition and publication program; and planning and implementing fund raising, grant writing, and community outreach.  Periodic teaching in the director's area of expertise and in the field of museum studies is anticipated.  The director is expected to hold a Ph.D. in an academic discipline and specialty area related to the Museum's holdings.  The director reports to the dean of the College of Arts and Science and is a member of the college's Council of Chairs.  Tenure in an academic department is a possibility, depending on qualifications.

Applications, which should include a letter, a curriculum vita, and the names of and contact information for three references, should be sent to

[2007] INTERACTIVE PRODUCER AND SENIOR CATALOGUER. BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY.

Due to success in winning funding for an innovative technology project, we are looking for and Interactive Producer to work within a project team.  This will be a contract post for 30 months.

 There will be a small team within the library and you will also be part of a larger project management team working closely with our other partners and spending time at the offices of one of our technology partners.

The role will involve taking a lead role in developing the Product specification for individual products and specific ownership for content specification in the area of cultural heritage and education. Specifying the production of visual assets and use of taxonomies and various metadata schema.

Experience of the museums sector, art history, history and education and e-learning methodologies is essential.  Proven experience in authoring materials, understanding of publishing with digital interactive and web technologies (HTML, CSS, SML, XSLT) together with a high level of computer literacy is important.

For the same project we also seek someone with experience of cataloguing, sourcing content and researching metadata and taxonomies.  This position would involve working closely with the interactive producer, the project team and the partner companies in the project.

[2008] CURATORIAL ASSISTANT. The Frick Collection. New York.

Background
The Frick Collection is an art museum consisting of over 1,100 works of art from the 13th to the 19th century, displayed in the intimate surroundings of the former home of Henry Clay Frick. The residence, with its furnishings and works of art, has been open to the public since 1935.  It is one of the world’s most perfect museums; its sister research institution the Frick Art Reference Library is of equal distinction

Job Summary
We are seeking a highly motivated and organized individual to provide clerical, administrative and research support to the office of the Associate Director and Chief Curator.  Administrative support includes maintaining calendar, correspondence, travel plans and expense reports for the Chief Curator;ielding telephone calls and inquiries from the public, keeping minutes, coordinating between the museum’s departments.  Research, guided by the Chief Curator, is largely conducted at The Frick Art Reference Library and is primarily exhibition related.   Other exhibition related tasks include obtaining images for publication, maintaining checklists, and working with the in-house Editor as catalogues approach publication.  The position provides a superb opportunity for participating in all aspects of curatorial work in a small, dynamic department.    

Requirements
B.A. in Art History; M.A. preferred; proficiency in French is essential; strong writing and research skills; computer literacy in a Windows environment/Microsoft Office Suite.  Knowledge of eighteenth and nineteenth-century art history is required.

Benefits in Employment with The Frick Collection
Full-time employees are eligible to participate in group life, health, and dental insurance plans. Employees contribute to the cost of their health insurance based on income level and the type of coverage they select. Other benefits include Short and Long Term Disability insurance, employee contributed tax deferred annuity, flexible spending plans for health, dependent care and commuting costs, generous pension plan with participation after one year of service/vesting after five years of service, 13 paid holidays, and accrual of 12 vacation days the first year of employment (25 days subsequent years).  All employees of the Frick Collection may access free or discounted admission to most of New York’s finest museums. Additionally, to help ensure the employment experience is enjoyable we provide employees and volunteers with an extremely affordable lunch in our employee dining room and a discount on Museum Shop purchases. The Frick Collection offers a beautiful and pleasant wo
rk setting and an excellent opportunity to appreciate some of the world’s finest works of art.

Application Process: 
Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirement to:  jobs@frick.org
Indicate the title of the position for which you are applying in the subject line of your email.

[2008] REGISTRAR/CURATORIAL ASSISTANT.  National Sporting Library.  Middleburg, Virginia.

Curatorial assistant will report to Curator of Art Department.  Duties include assisting curator with installation/de-installation of exhibitions, processing loan agreements and serving as liaison with lending museums, researching art and artists in permanent collection, writing labels and wall text, and maintaining collections database. This position is 40 hours/week with occasional Saturdays and evening hours.

A B.A. in Art History or Museum Studies is preferred.  An ideal candidate will have previous experience handling art and/or working in an art museum.  Candidate should possess strong writing/research skills and be computer literate.  Experience with MS Office suite required; familiarity with collections database software and/or Adobe Photoshop a plus.

The National Sporting Library is a research institution dedicated to the literature and art of horse and field sports.  Its permanent collection includes paintings, sculpture, and works-on-paper by primarily British and American artists from the 18th-20th centuries.  The Library holds 2-3 exhibitions per year in its two galleries, and plans to open a sporting art museum in late 2010.

[2011] Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings. Under the direction of the Chair of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, the Pamela and Peter Voss Curator of Prints and Drawings will be responsible for the implementation of the curatorial collection strategy, including acquisitions, exhibitions, loans, research, publications, donor development, and the general safekeeping of the collection. We seek an energetic individual with a broad knowledge of both European and American graphic arts, including drawings and illustrated books. Expertise in American art of all periods, including contemporary, is especially desired, as demonstrated by exhibitions and publications. Knowledge of the media of the graphic arts and museum study room experience of five years or more will be favored. The successful candidate will also have the ability to lecture and deliver gallery talks, and will possess a collegial manner and strong communication skills. PhD, not required, but preferred.

[2012] Index of Christian Art. Art Historian: medievalist. Begin date January 2013 (or before)
Scholar—cataloguer needed to work primarily on cataloguing sculpture from the Early Christian period to the end of the fifteenth century.  Masters degree in art history required; PhD preferred. Knowledge of other media excluding manuscripts required. Reading knowledge of foreign languages especially Latin required. Ability to work with databases essential. This is a one-year term position, renewable pending continued funding and satisfactory performance. This is not a teaching post.

[2014] From Wittenborn Art Book Publishing: (This requires a large measure of design and computer skills)

Edit & Design Scholarly Artist Oeuvre Catalogues
Send CV. Must be located in SF Bay Area. 
Project involves entering information about art works in an excel database, scanning the related images and combining the text and images in InDesign for a 300+ page book.
Database:
1. Create/update database in Excel, listing pertinent data in list format as established in previous volumes (Excel template provided).
2. Database consists of information from a selection of source books (provided by publisher) but updated and corrected for mistakes.
3. Cited art works must be cross-referenced and organized chronologically. French/Spanish languages are to be translated to English. Medium and size/format to be translated and updated to reflect most recent publication information.
4. Database to be submitted for review by Publisher for updates and corrections.
5. Excel file can be converted to Microsoft Word for Font/Size formatting of the text, then import into InDesign.
Scanning:
1. Screened original images will be descreened through scanning with capable scanner (example: Microtek 9800XL or 1000XL).
2. Images will be either in color or grayscale. All images will be scanned at 400 dpi 16-bit color or 8 bit grayscale, in the .tiff format.
3. Original printed images are to be aligned square and laid completely flat for scanning.
4. White balance and (color) density will need to be calibrated in scanner software.
5. After scanned, each image is named according to source catalog (AuthorXX.231.tif as example)
Color balancing for Scanned Images:
1. Calibrate monitor for proper color balancing before proceeding.
2. Each color image is compared to printed originals/examples, and using Photoshop and the tools therein, adjust value, saturation and levels to match.
3. File saved as new version (to preserve original scan).
Final image preparation:
1. Crop each image to exact, original format.
2. Each image will be reduced to 300dpi, and either resized or reduced to fit new, final print size. This final size should match the sizes in the source catalogue, or be made to fit appropriately to the page format (match size formats from previous volumes, i.e. 10.5 cm high for oil paintings, 10.3 cm high for vertical drawings, 9.8 cm wide for horizontal works).
3. Utilized the tool Unsharpen Mask after resizing.
4. Save file to final image numbering format for this catalogue (to be determined, i.e. 1960-001.tif).
Book Layout:
1. Design and layout the book in Adobe InDesign. Each page will contain a running header, page number, and between 1 and 4 illustrations with descriptive text (template provided or to match previous volumes).
2. Place edited images-only from Photoshop, as listed above in Image Preparation.
3. Import text from Excel database or Word document and match to image, formatting text to match style from previous volumes.
4. Print out draft copy of book for review by publisher and/or export Press Quality PDF for review by staff.
5. Package project and deliver on digital format to publisher and print-compatible.

Fees in the range of $4000.00.

And then, maybe you could be an emcee...

QVC COMBINES ARTS, SHOPPING IN "TOURS."
By Diane Haithman. Los Angeles Times 7/25/96.

Move over PBS, the newest haven for art on television is...QVC?
That's right--QVC, a self described "virtual shopping mall" for buyers who would rather purchase their cubic zirconia jewelry, kitchen gadgets and health and beauty products via cable TV, has moved into the fine arts arena with a new series of live TV specials titled "QVC Museum Tours."
The specials take the viewer inside prominent art museums nationwide, offering minicourses in art appreciation and at the same time hawking such merchandise as pins, scarves, watches, ties and tote bags related to the featured exhibition. Most recently, QVC visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Paul Cezanne exhibition with the Postimpressionist painter's great-grandson Philippe Paul Cezanne, on hand to co-host the show with QVC and museum personnel.
Among the items offered: a gold plated "jug" pin adapted from a frequent subject in Cezanne paintings ($45); a Swatch-like "apples" watch featuring Cezanne's famous fruit on the band ($36--there is also a fruit bowl necktie); "Bathers" beach towels for $24; and a dessert plate set featuring the artists' sketches. Some items were already available in the museum gift shop, but some new items were created especially for QVC and are now being offered in the gift shop.
The QVC tour series kicked off in March at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, featuring that museum's Homer Winslow (sic) exhibition; popular items were fishing rod and reel basket pins borrowed from Winslow's seafaring imagery.
The museum also did well with a $160 bronze replica of a Degas dancer and a "Miss Helen" doll inspired by a John Singer Sargent painting in the museum's regular collection.

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Or perhaps you might want to become a doctor...

YALE News Release
For Immediate Release: September 4, 2001
Artwork Can Sharpen Medical Diagnostic Skills, Yale Researchers Report

New Haven, Conn. -- Four years after starting a tutorial designed to improve medical students' diagnostic and observational skills with artwork, Yale researchers have proven their theory in a new study published in the September 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"Doctors have to be taught to pick up on details that are often overlooked and first-year medical students who took this class improved their observational skills by 10 percent," said Irwin Braverman, M.D., professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. "With heightened observational skills, physicians can often ask the questions necessary to make correct diagnoses without relying too much on costly blood tests and x-rays."

To test the theory that first-year medical students could be visually trained to become better observers by looking at and discussing highly detailed works of art, Braverman teamed up with Jacqueline Dolev, M.D., who was a Yale medical student and is currently a resident at Stanford University Hospital, and Linda Friedlaender, curator of education at the Yale Center for British Art. They developed a tutorial called the Yale Center for British Art Project.

During the two-year study, 81 students received the visual training and 65 students in a control group received no visual training. Both groups were given a pre-test on observational skills consisting of prints of people with various medical conditions. Students who received visual training were assigned a painting at the Yale Center for British Art and given time to observe it. In turn, students discussed the work based solely on what they saw. Back in the classroom, the students were shown prints of people with other medical conditions and asked to write down their diagnoses in three minutes as they had done with the pre-test. The students who received visual training improved their detection of details by 10 percent, while there was no improvement in the control group.

"The 10 percent improvement is statistically significant," said Braverman. "It makes the point that you can visually train someone to be a better observer, and it has added a dimension to the way medical students are taught at Yale."

Braverman said the tutorial, which has generated interest and duplication by other schools, has become an official part of the curriculum and could also serve as a basis for continuing education that is applicable to all physicians.

"The use of representational paintings capitalizes on students' lack of familiarity with the artworks," said Braverman. "The viewers search for and collect all of the details in the paintings because they do not have a bias as to which visual attribute is more important than another. This lowered threshold of observation has direct application to the examination of the patient."



Unfortunately, in early 2002, some areas are experiencing contraction due to the faltering economy.  Art book publishing seems to be one of these.

NYTimes, 1/7/02
Excerpt from “Price Cutting and Oversupply Imperil Art Book Houses”
    "In the last year, the industry has severely retrenched. Harry N. Abrams, the largest and most prestigious American publisher of illustrated books and now part of the French Groupe de la Martinière, laid off about 25 of its 150 employees, or nearly 17 percent of its staff, including some top executives.
    "Another major art book publisher, Abbeville, cut back to the point that it stopped acquiring new books. The company's Web site advises that "because of the current conditions in the marketplace, we have streamlined our publishing program, and as a result, our book list is full for the next several seasons." Abbeville's New York office was destroyed in the attack on the World Trade Center, and no one was available to comment last week.   The Italian illustrated book retailer and publisher Rizzoli laid off about 50 people in the United States and closed almost all its American stores as well.
     "The Penguin Putnam division of Pearson of Britain has cut the number of titles from its Viking Studio illustrated books line by half, to about 20 a year because of disappointing sales.


A symposium concerning the destruction of art as a result of the tragedy of 9/11 was published in the IFAR Journal in 2001/2002.   There is an article by an insurance adjuster which suggests that, sadly enough, this might also be an area in which the expertise of an art historian could have some relevance.  

There has been a recent (December 2009-January 2010) generally quite pessimistic discussion on CAAH, a listserv maintained by Marilyn Lavin out of Princeton, concerning the future of graduate education in the Humanities and the implications which this might have for art history. This discussion focused on Thomas H. Benton's articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education from January 30, 2009 and March 13, 2009 . This is not an encouraging pair of articles, but it is one which probably should be read by students intending to pursue a career in art history, particularly in academia.

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(rev. July 11, 2014)