History of Art
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA, BGS, and BFA, as well as a MA and a PhD in the History of Art. A wide range of courses focus on diverse forms of art and visual culture from prehistory to the present in Europe, the U.S., East Asia, and Africa, both within national traditions and transnationally. Award-winning professors and graduate teaching assistants provide instruction in courses ranging from introductory surveys to graduate seminars, emphasizing critical thinking and active learning.
Classes take full advantage of the rich collection of over 45,000 objects in the Spencer Museum of Art, one of the top-rated university art museums in the country.
Sample of Related Skills
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of artistic traditions and processes from across the globe, in their historical and cultural frameworks and as they evolve through time
- Know how to gain a better understanding of the past and the present through the analysis of visual and material objects
- Know how to read primary and secondary historical sources critically
- Demonstrate facility with online image and archival databases
- Know how to construct an effective argument
- Interpret a culture's values and beliefs, showing visual literacy and using current modes of critical and theoretical thought
- Conduct historical research and reach evidence-based conclusions about works of art
Explore Career Paths
- The Art History Major: Is there life after graduation? - helpful tips and suggested jobs for art history majors
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
Art Supply Stores
Community Art Centers
National Park Service - Historic Preservation
Travel & Tourism Agencies
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
- Meet with the History of Art Department's Undergraduate Coordinator to identify specific interests in art history, so you can focus your study and experiences toward careers in these areas.
- Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in art history, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as the KU Art History Club, Community Resources Engaging the Arts through Education, KU Photo Club, Photography Club, and Spencer Museum of Art Student Advisory Board.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
Job and Internship Search Resources
- American Alliance of Museums - Resources related to managing a career in museums
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic Art - a career center for those interested in art conservation with job postings, general information, and networking opportunities
- Americans for the Arts - professional association that includes networking and job/internship search resources
- Art History Job Listings: About.com - list of jobs, internships, and fellowships in art history
- Art Library Society of North America - internships in Art, Architecture, & Design Libraries and Visual Resource Centers in United States, Canada and Mexico
- Art Museums Worldwide - a comprehensive list of art museums across the world
- Association for Art History - list of jobs and fellowships in art history
- College Art Association - an online career center, grant and fellowship resources, mentoring opportunities, and more
- GetthatGig.com - a list of jobs and internships in art and design
- Idealist.org - search jobs, internships, organizations, and volunteer opportunities in the non-profit sector; search under the focus area of "art, architecture, and music"
- Internships-USA - internships listed in The Museum Internship Book and The History Internship Book
- Kansas Citizens for the Arts - organization working to build support for the arts among the public, community leadership and elected officials
- Kansas Art Galleries - lists art galleries in the state of Kansas
- Kansas Museums Association - employment listings, an online newsletter, scholarship opportunities, trainings, and workshop listings
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Internships - list of internships available at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Midwest Art History Society - career advice, as well as job and internship listings for art history majors
- Smithsonian Internship Opportunities - list of internships available through the Smithsonian