Art History combines the study of art, artifacts, and the built environment with the study of culture. By developing skills in visual literacy, critical thinking and writing, and historical research, students learn to situate objects and structures within their cultural contexts and explore how they fashion, preserve, and challenge beliefs and values. The discipline of art history offers a unique perspective on the past since it considers the places history was made as well as the images, objects, and documents that recorded it. Moreover, art history’s attention to the lives of objects–their production, use, and reception–makes it inherently cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. Students are encouraged to draw on other subjects of study, including archaeology, anthropology, business, gender studies, literature, music, religion, science, and technology, and to transfer that knowledge to their understanding of art history and visual studies. The wide range of skills acquired in the BA program prepares students for a variety of employment opportunities in the creative economy. Recent graduates are employed by museums, galleries, non-profit arts organizations, government agencies, libraries, schools, and businesses across the nation and around the world. They curate exhibitions, edit publications, develop educational programming, manage community outreach projects, teach students of all ages, and work to preserve the nation’s architectural and cultural heritage. They also participate in strategic development, human resource and operations management, and long-term planning for private and public companies. Finally, many students continue their studies at the graduate level in art and architectural history, art conservation, education, law, library science, and museum studies.
Common Career Paths
You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major: