Posts Tagged ‘art historian’

It seems I’m becoming quite the author these days.

My post for Kill Screen was posted today.

Check out Going for Baroque 

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Art Historian LFW is devoted to examining all the different opportunities I have with my skill set. This is for all students who are thinking that maybe getting a Ph.D isn’t the only path. We have options. Yes, we have skills to offer the work place.

Skills: Writing, editing, research, self discipline, small business skills (accounting, organization), quoting, self direction, self motivation, tight deadlines.

Education: Depends on publication.

Freelance writing sounds like a wondrous affair. It can be. It’s not easy. It will requiring a lot of query letters before you even get published. Depending on the publication you choose you could make anywhere between nothing and $2 a word.

You can set your own schedule since you are self employed. Since you are self employed, you only have you to rely on for your income. You will need to keep track of your income and do business taxes. It also means you should be constantly looking for work.

It is not recommended to quit your day job when you first start freelancing. Only quit that day job when you start making enough money to live and thrive off. Also make sure you have enough savings to go anywhere between 6 months to 2 years of not working. Freelancing is hard to solely survive on.

I enjoyed Get a Freelance Life it provided a lot of relevant information for people that start freelancing.

Also, don’t be arrogant when querying publications. Be respectful and polite. No one wants to work with a jerk.

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Art Historian LFW is devoted to examining all the different opportunities I have with my skill set. This is for all students who are thinking that maybe getting a Ph.D isn’t the only path. We have options. Yes, we have skills to offer the work place.

(I thought of this career because I constantly think about making games.)

Skills: Extremely knowledgeable about video games, how to articulate your ideas, intensely familiar with current games and trends, a gamer, teamwork, 

Education: Experience (programming skills helps, but it isn’t necessary)

You don’t need a Masters Degree to be a Game designer. For the most part, you need to play a lot of games. Game designers literally design games. Knowing people in the industry could help you land this job. You will need to prove that your skills will make the game better.

As a Game designer you create the content and rules of a game during the earliest stages of pre-production.  The design can be the environments, characters, gameplay, and narrative.

Areas of specialization:

World design – backstory, setting, setting, etc (may need to be the lead designer to have this role) (may be good for super organized art historians who have knowledge about a specific time period e.g Renaissance, Middle ages. Many games are set in specific historic periods, which your esoteric knowledge and passion would benefit any development team.)

System design -game rules

Content design creation of characters, items, puzzles, etc. (Once again specialize knowledge of a particular time period would help with character design. However, will need extensive knowledge of puzzles and gaming)

Game writing dialogue, text, and story. (might be good for art historians that also write fiction on the side. History is a great influence for fiction.)

Level design – dungeons, encounters, etc (you need to play a lot of games to know what makes a good level. Players get bored of tired and predictable levels. It was one of the reasons I couldn’t finish Tomb Raider Underworld, I kept thinking, I have done this before.)

User interface design – self explanatory. (not my area of interest since I can’t even arrange furniture in a logical or functional manner.)

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Art Historian LFW (looking for work)  is devoted to examining all the different opportunities I have with my skill set. This is for all students who are thinking that maybe getting a Ph.D isn’t the only path. We have options. Yes, we have skills to offer the work place.

Skills: Writing, researching, editing, Public Relations, Spin Doctor, diplomacy, dealing with the public

Education: BA, may require an internship in either Public Relations or Communications. Or Corporate Communications CO-OP at Seneca@york.

Potential earnings: 30-100k plus. (50k is the average minimum for corporations, however smaller arts and heritage institutes pay 30k. or less.)*

Corporate Communications (Public Relations)  essentially provides information as well as an image for a corporation.

You will be require to research and write press releases as well as a variety of internal documents. This can be in the form of thank you letters to donors and all sorts of types of information files. You may need to take research and re-write it to present to the public in an understandable manner.

Your duties will vary based on the size of company (or art gallery/museum) that employed you.

It could be as small as running the facebook page to sending out large press kits to newspapers.

You be involved in creating a coherent positive image for your place of employment. You will also need to deliver information in a timely manner.

You will  be the person that will have to spin any controversy or handle any damage control.

If you want to be the person that creates a press kit for a major exhibition or handles the ‘bad’ press from a national purchase, this could be a very satisfying career move.

There is a lot of potential variety Corporate Communication because you could work for a major corporation, a gallery or even charitable organization.

*I don’t typically look up earnings.  In this case I stumbled upon it. 

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Art Historian LFW is devoted to examining all the different opportunities I have with my skill set. This is for all students who are thinking that maybe getting a Ph.D isn’t the only path. We have options. Yes, we have skills to offer the work place.

Art Crime Prevention

Careers: Civilian Police Officer RCMP (Or FBI for my American friends)

Who tracks down people who have stolen art? Who identifies stolen art? The persons involved in Art Crime Prevention. Admittedly, not the easiest profession to get into, since at the moment there is a very small trial Art Theft team in Canada, based out of Montreal. You would technically be a Civilian officer for the RCMP that specializes in Art History. Actually Canada’s general lack of interest in Art Theft makes it one of the best places to sell stolen art.

Americans have slightly better luck that there is a twenty person Art Theft branch in FBI. Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, wrote a book called Priceless: How I Went Undercover To Rescue The World’s Stolen Treasures (2010).

Also, Los Angeles Police Department has the only full time law enforcement unit devoted to art crime.

ARCA (The Association for Research into Crimes against Art) has a good blog covering various Art Crimes and offers a one year MA program in Art Crime prevention in Italy.

After seven years of police (including RCMP or FBI) service you can join Interpol (International Police) and work on larger cases.

No, it’s not going to be constant action like a crime drama, but if you have an interest in crime and art, this may be a career for you.

Skills: Art Identification, Conservation, Bravery?, Research Skills, Familiarity with Art Circles, Art Trade, Art Management, Patience

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I noticed that someone searched for ‘Art Historian Jobs’ and found my blog.

These are a few of the jobs I intend to cover while writing Art Historian LFW.

While I write my blog you can also do your own research.  Even suggest a few.

I’ve done that panicked midnight “OMG what am I doing with my life??!” google search too.  I hope my wee list elevates some of that anxiety.

These careers are geared towards my area of expertise (Modern Art and Video games) and personal interests.  I tend to gravitate toward: Scholarship, Teaching (college, university, I’d try Online), Video Games, Cultural Heritage Protection/Art Crime Prevention and of course writing.

I adoring researching, I love to teach and I fight passionately for what I believe in with a pen.

However, careers such as Corporate Communications, Administration and Director allow for a stable and larger income.  There’s something to be said for financial stability. It would be lovely to buy a house on my turn. As well as have savings and even a pension. Wow and go on vacation. I’d be able to see the works of art I’ve studied in books in person. That’s the nice part about jobs that can start at 52k CDN and go as far 300k.

I can still travel, buy a home and have a pension with a smaller income. But it would be nice to do it without a strict budget.

However, sometimes dreams do not always equal security.

Art Historian careers:

Art Crime Prevention


Art Buyer/Curator (Corporation)

Consultant (Historical Accuracy)

Art Critic/Arts Journalist

Writer (freelance)

Arts Magazine Editor



Art Dealer

Antiques Dealer

Art Appraisal

Arts Administration

Cultural Heritage Protection

Game Designer

Corporate Communications

Art Gallery Director

Arts Council (Grants officer)

Art Direction


Education Officer

Scholar!  Instructor (Sessional Faculty – College)

Scholar! Blank Professor (Full time Faculty)

Scholar! Instructor (Sessional Faculty – Online education)

High School Art Teacher

Art Buyer/Curator (Corporation)

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I found this awhile back while reading Digital Conversations.

Here is the thought provoking link.

Essentially, it points out that you won’t make significantly more money with a Ph.D than a Masters.  Also, that there is such a flood of Ph.D programs that you will be fighting with many people for a professorship (which will probably be a sessional position) that you might be jobless anyway.

The big question is do you want your Ph.D for love? Or for financial gain?

If you answered financial gain, best of luck because you might not  make more money.

A couple of tips I’ve collected from various workshops and websites are:

-make sure you get your Ph.D at a well-known institution. If no one has heard of your program chances are your C.V. will end up in a wastebin.

-Apparently being ‘interdisciplinary’ makes it easier to hire you since you could work in multiple departments.

-Get college and/or university level teaching experience.

-Get published, do conferences. Get Famous. Institutions want professors their students have heard of.

-Be willing to move anywhere.

If you answered love, you are gonna do what you want to do anyway, so you didn’t even read this post. ;)

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