7 Reasons to do a History of Art degree

Pablo Picasso, 1907. MoMA.

Sticking with the list theme of a previous post, here’s seven reasons why I’d suggest taking on a History of Art degree. Enjoy!

7. There’s not a lot of people that can actually say they have a degree in History of Art, so it’d be an interesting conversation starter. Join us, we have everything from Rembrandt to Duchamp and will usually (always) have a bottle of wine on hand (if it’s the wine that catches your attention, you’ll be pleased to know the HoA society organise regular socials which involve a lot of wine… and other beverages of course).

6. Who likes doing statistical analysis? I mean, I praise those who can do it (literally well done), but I much prefer analysing the use of an ionic column on a 19th century government house in Calcutta.

5. We have the chance to spend a year in Paris. I mean, if that’s not a dream of anyone who loves culture I don’t know what is.

4. You’re opened up to so much. Never read Wölfflin? You will. Never analysed Cindy Sherman? You will have the chance to. Never listened to Martin Luther King’s speech and thought: I wonder what art this encouraged? You will. Never looked at a painting by Caravaggio and thought, is there a painting underneath this painting? You guessed it, you will also probably do that.

3. Yes, it will open your options up to jobs in museums or galleries and whatnot, but it will also help you to develop skills that can be transferred to a wide spread of careers. For example, essay writing in exams develops your use of language, presentations encourage your ability to showcase ideas and analytical skills ensure you know how to argue and how to question.

2. All our tutors dedicate their life to art historical research. While this means that some of your required books are written by your tutor (which can be intimidating), it also means you get first class help and support. What more could you want?

1. The department put on weekly research seminars in which external academics present their ideas to students, staff and guests. In a recent one I learnt about Mantegna and Bellini, both of whose art I adore, but have never really considered otherwise. Even though these are optional seminars, they deepen your knowledge of a wide range of subjects, while also being really fun (and of course, wine always follows)

Whether you’re interested in painting, sculpture, ceramics, architecture, literature, politics or even gender (including a number of other topics), History of Art is an incredible subject and I couldn’t recommend it more.

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Just an art history student studying in the architectural capital! I love anything arty, cultural or to do with travel. Alongside art I love spending time with friends both here and back home, retail therapy and a good cuppa.