History of Art

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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, which introduces students to the past and present and offers courses in history of photography, prints, and drawings.

History of Art Department website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the canonical works of western art and architecture, representative works of non-western art, and the art of minorities and women, through the ability to recognize the works, their artists, their stylistic period and their art historical significance 
  • Recognize that different interpretive frameworks can be used to analyze works of art 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of works of art and architecture from diverse genres and from a range of historical periods and geographical locations 
  • Demonstrate familiarity with more than one artistic culture of a particular time and place 
  • Demonstrate mastery of analytical skills such as observation and inductive reasoning in interpreting works of art both as formal structures and in relation to social and cultural contexts 
  • Demonstrate mastery of the principal developments and primary problems of interpretation and an awareness of critical and theoretical perspectives 
  • Demonstrate an array of critical approaches to the study of art history and visual culture 
  • Produce an extended work involving visual analysis, reading research, critical thinking, writing, and standard methods of documentation

Popular Career Paths

Museum/Gallery Curation: Involves managing collections of paintings, sculptures and other materials and artifacts

Art Conservation and Restoration: Involves maintaining older pieces of art that may be susceptible to damage, as well as restoring works of art that already have damage

Museum Marketing and Public Relations: Includes pitching stories about a museum to news outlets and overseeing marketing efforts

Art and Law Enforcement: Involves working for the FBI to investigate stolen art cases

Art Consulting: Involves contract work in which a person suggests pieces of to a variety of clients to fit their needs

Arts Management and Representation: Involves handing business affairs for artists

Museum Fund Raising and Development: Involves convincing donors that donating funds to a local museum is a wise investment

Event Planning for Museum or Arts Organization: Includes using creativity and budget management to plan events for arts-based organizations

Art and Estate Appraisal: Involves using research skills to appraise art value for auction houses or private firms

Exhibit Installation: Includes installing exhibits in various locations

Explore More Career Paths

Jobs to Consider


Art Consultant

Art Dealer

Artist Agent

Art Transporter

Community Art Teacher





Docent Coordinator


Exhibit Designer

Gallery Director

Grants Officer


Public Relations Manager/Assistant


Print Publisher



Places to Seek Employment

Art Houses/Auction Galleries

Art/History Magazines

Art Supply Stores

Auction Galleries

Camps/Recreation Facilities

Ceramics Shops

Community Art Centers

Custom Framing Stores

Educational Institutions


Jewelry Stores


Non-Profit Organizations

Publishing Companies


Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest in art and history, so you can focus your academics and experiences toward these fields.
  2. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
  3. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  4. Register for HireJayhawks.com and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  5. 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.
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  7. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
  8. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
  9. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: Ceramics Club, Community Resources Engaging the Arts through Education, KU Photo Club, Photography Club, and Spencer Museum of Art Student Advisory Board.
  10. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).

Job and Internship Search Resources

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/historyofart.

Go back to Careers & KU Majors homepage.

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