Career Resources for Art Historians

The Office of Career Planning and Professional Development is dedicated to providing our graduate students with career related guidance. Specifically, we have been working to bring to our students a plethora of open opportunities in and outside of academia. This blog in particular is targeted at some career resources for PhD students and alumni from the PhD Program in Art History.

Typical occupations for art historians

Not different from other academic fields, an advanced degree, e.g., PhD, in Art History will not only render you qualified for academic job positions at universities, but also equip you with professional skills that are needed in many other domains, such as private / nonprofit organizations or government agencies. You can find a fairly comprehensive list of potential career options for art historians here (with a general introduction to each type of job, followed by some preferred requirements and an estimated salary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

For specific government agencies, here is a sample list:

  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • Department of Education
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Hirshhorn Museum
  • Institute of Museum Services
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Gallery of Art
  • National Museum of African Art
  • National Museum of American Art
  • National Museum of American History

In addition, there have been several interesting career paths for “applied” art historians:

  • For those art historians who are also artistically inclined, visit The Art Career Project. On this website, you can find information about art related careers like interior design and food styling.
  • For those art historians who are also interested in counseling, art therapy might be a career of great interest. Read an article from Education Portal for more information.

Job hunting for art historians

Several general purpose job search engines are always convenient places to start. You can find a host of job openings, from New York areas for instance, on Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, and Glassdoor.com.

For specific job listings dedicated to Art History, you can check out related professional associations. Some of them publish newsletters regularly and others have webpages listing job openings.

Miscellaneous links