Art History

1. What is the Art History major?
2. What careers interest students in this major?
3. What skills are developed within this major?
4. What Art History resources are available?
5. Where have Wake Forest graduates landed jobs with this major?
6. Where can I get more information about the Art History major?

1. What is the Art History major?

The study of art history and studio art provides a historical, cultural, and social context for the comprehension, evaluation, and creation of visual art. Studying art fosters critical thinking, visual literacy, and an understanding of the complex potential of visual communication and culture.

The Department of Art offers small class sizes, one-on-one instruction, careful mentoring, interdisciplinary flexibility and a strong commitment to the liberal arts. Studying art at Wake Forest can prepare you for a career that combines the study of art with a wide variety of other interests. Art History offers courses in periods ranging from ancient to contemporary, including course topics such as the History of Architecture, History of Film, History of Photography, and Visual Theory. Studio Art offers courses and concentrations in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and digital art. Course topics include public art, life drawing, and videography.

2. What careers interest students in this major?

Many careers require the kind of careful observational and analytical skills integral to art practice and study. Students go on to Studio MFA programs and Masters and PhD programs in Art History as well as careers in medicine, entrepreneurship, law, business, etc. Through study in art you may also go on to become an:

Art Educator K-12
Art Historian
Museum Educator
Visual Resources Librarian
Graphic Designer
Fashion Designer
Interior Designer
Art Therapist
Medical Illustrator
Exhibition Design
Graphic Design
Advertising Professional
Art Writer
Art Advisor
Art Dealer
Auction House Specialist
Marketing Professional

3. What skills are developed within this major?

Skills developed within this major include: Ability to analyze works of art; Research skills as demonstrated in papers and exams; Visual analysis; Analytical skills; Communication skills; Time management skills; Problem solving skills; and passion for the visual arts.

4. What Art History resources are available?

Career Alternatives for Art Historians
American Alliance of Museums
Association for Art History
American Society for Aesthetics
Society of American Archivists
The Society of Architectural Historians
Art History Network
Museum Employment Resource Center
College Art Association
Internships with museums, galleries, etc.

Additional Opportunities in Art at Wake Forest:

  • Exhibit work at START Gallery in Reynolda Village, Hanes Art Gallery, or downtown Winston Salem venues.
  • Curate exhibitions, exhibit and sell your work, and gain experience in a professional gallery setting at START: WFU Student Art Gallery.
  • Seek internships in museums and cultural organizations. WFU credit for internships is available through the Art Department’s internship coordinator, Harry Titus. For volunteer internships inquire through Career Services or the Art Department.
  • The Management in the Visual Arts course offers business and art students the opportunity to travel to New York City for an exceptional and privileged look into the inner workings of the “Art World”.
  • Every four years a select group of students travel to NYC to purchase contemporary art for the Student Union Collection.
  • The Art Department’s Annual Overnight Trip to Washington DC is an immersive art experience.
  • Honors in Studio Art offers an intense studio and solo exhibition.
  • Honors in Art History offers the opportunity to develop an original research project and thesis.
  • Volunteer with our visiting artists and lecturers.
  • Volunteer with LINK IN, a program that aims to connect past, present, and future Wake Forest art students to strengthen sense of community, foster new learning opportunities, further career opportunities for students and alumni, and support the growth of the arts and overall strength of Wake Forest.
  • Work-study opportunities are available with faculty, the Visual Resources Library, and the changing art exhibitions in the Hanes Gallery.
  • Assist faculty with research.
  • Collaborate with Public Art Projects.
  • Know the exhibitions and opportunities available at local museums, galleries, and art centers.
  • Study abroad in Wake Forest residential study centers

5. Where have Wake Forest graduates landed jobs with this major?

Click here to see where Art History majors have landed jobs after graduation.

6. Where can I get more information about the Art History major?

For more information about the Art History major, visit the WFU Department of Art.