This article below reflects my opinion on the matter written in the article above of art history in the business place.
It is always refreshing to see positive discussion on the worth of art history in learning and in business practice. I constantly get asked the same question by peers and friends alike and can be the butt of jokes for pursuing a degree in the visual arts and art history. (Because if I wanted an art job I should have stuck to something sensible like Graphic Design because it’s the “safe option” – anyone else hear this before? )
[side note: I pursued graphic design first, it is now a side hobby, and I still use what I’ve learned in my visual databank of information for visual media analysis]
The thing I am most proud of with my art history degree is my ability to quickly and efficiently analyze a piece of media/medium to its fullest extent. I am able to provide historical context, visual impact, the evolution of its design, and its efficiency in getting its point across as well as critique it from an objective point of view. I am literally carrying around a visual database of all recorded human history around in my brain and can use it at will. ( how cool is that?)
People may think that just because someone majored and graduated with a degree in art history must mean they have a very limited job pool to choose from: museum work, research, or teaching. This notion that a large majority of the populous believes ( which includes my relatives and friends if you’d believe it) is completely FALSE.
I emphasize time and time again how useful a degree in art history can be, not even a degree, just a basic education in the visual arts. It is more widely applicable business wise than many of the other analytical degrees because humans will notice the visuals first. It also helps set me apart from the ever growing sea of the labeled “safe” majors and make me a unique candidate in any career option due to Art History’s grueling yet eye-opening process of education of the worlds cultures through a visual timeline.
My word of advice for the undergraduate that is either undecided or has a slot open on their schedule and your insititution has art history classes offered;
Take the class.
It isnt the risky option, it certainly isnt the useless option, its one of the best decisions you will make. One class could be all it takes for you to realize that could be what you want to pursue for the rest of your life or it could be that something that gives you the edge later on in your future career search.
All it took for me was my very first art history course my senior year of highschool, and it ignited such fire and passion in me that here I am with a Bachelors degree in it, and I am even considering a masters, possibly even a phd. But hey, whats one “useless” class to you?