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After Graduation

Skills developed in visual arts prepare students for a wide range of careers — both in fields related to the arts and beyond. 

Our art history graduates include educators, museum curators and directors, auction house administrators and appraisers, art librarians, historical preservationists, art publishers and grants managers. 

Our studio art majors have developed careers as professional artists, illustrators, photographers and arts administrators. Majors and minors have also found their critical thinking skills highly transferable to fields such as architecture, law, medicine, finance and retail.

Art History Careers

  • Art Market
    • Auction Houses
    • Dealer - Old master, contemporary, antiques
    • Artist's agent
    • Art exhibitor
    • Art consultant and appraiser
  • Teaching
    • Teaching university level (Ph.D., languages essential): opportunities in various departments such as art history, art, American studies, women's studies, archeology
    • Teaching at private schools or academies
    • Art librarian, M.L.S. (Visual Resource librarian, B.A. or M.A.)
  • Art Librarian
  • Museums and Galleries
    • Museum director
    • Curator
    • Registrar
    • Education
    • Administration
  • Conservation
    • Museum, historical and preservation organizations
    • Private practice
  • Historic Preservation 
    • Architecture, districts, burial grounds, villages, material culture
  • Development, Funding and Grants Management
  • Publishing and Tourism
    • Art publishers; critics; writer for newspapers, editorial work
    • Film industry
    • Web design for both commercial and for non-profit organizations
    • Tourism
    • Publishing proofreader
  • Art and Law
    • Artist's rights - resale, estates
    • Insurance companies - art investigators

Art History Alumni 

Melody Lin ’18

Art history major
Graduate trainee at Christie’s, Hong Kong 

Melody Lin ’18, Art history major
Melody Lin ’18

“Taking art history as a major at Holy Cross helped to develop a lot of core skills — research skills, writing skills, and visual analysis skills. I became a fast reader and developed an efficient system for myself to gather and organize pieces of information, which I find useful in the workplace as well. Exploring art history and completing research on artworks from different time periods, I also became an expressive writer, vividly delivering my points with clarity. Spending hours observing a piece of artwork and finding the best way to describe it verbally is also an essential skill that I could not get elsewhere.

“The department gave me space and freedom to explore what I love. I always had a passion for the arts, but I did not know how to develop a career path from it. The professors in the art history department are open minded and encouraging, motivating me to try different things to figure out what I am truly passionate about. The excitement of understanding a piece of artwork within its social context, of writing a beautiful sentence with clarity, of explaining the meaning of artworks to others is beyond any other kind of happiness.”

Sheila Riley ’17

Art History and English major
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, New York City

Sheila Riley ’17"Majoring in art history while at Holy Cross has created a lasting impact on both my personal and professional life. While working in wealth management at Merrill Lynch, I have had the privilege of meeting clients who possess sophisticated collections of art, clients who are artists themselves, as well as clients who openly express their appreciation for art. As a student of art history, I am able to share in the beauty and joy our clients have found in art. My education in art history has helped me contribute to conversations with clients and has aided my understanding of the value held by works of art. Wealth management requires refined visual presentations, attention to detail, and public speaking — all skills that I developed and strengthened as an art history major. 

“I am fortunate to have received such a prestigious education in art history while attending Holy Cross. I am truly grateful for all of support the visual arts department gave me throughout my time there.

Mark Weyland ’12

art history major (valedictorian, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
Sales specialist in the advertising technology space, New York City 

Mark Weyland ’12“My work requires me to relate to diverse groups of people scattered across the country in order to close deals. My study of art history supports these skills daily; it encouraged me to delve into the nuance and intricacy of myriad cultures from around the globe and across history. It encourages students to understand how historical, financial, sociological and artistic drivers intersected to coalesce into a single artwork or entire oeuvre. Similarly, I must synthesize client needs from across different company verticals like marketing, operations, engineering and finance to deliver a cohesive strategy for how the product I sell meets those requirements. Art history teaches an intellectual discipline that can understand numerous facts and influences and then express them as articulate, simple ideas, not unlike the perfect sales pitch. Plus, I trained my visual eye so I can read a room.” 

Meredyth Winter ’11

Art History major and Fenwick Scholar
Ph.D. candidate, Harvard University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Meredyth Winter '11
Meredyth Winter '11

“My time at Holy Cross, majoring in art history, laid the foundation for the research I do today as a historian of medieval Islamic art. The emphasis on thinking through looking has been an invaluable skill that has served me greatly in my continued studies and work. Such a skill cannot be taught but must be modeled, and I was fortunate to find so many professors at Holy Cross who not only excelled in their own work, but who also encouraged me to find my academic voice. This was especially true when I sought and was named the 2010-2011 Fenwick Scholar. The department’s support during that year of in-depth and vigorous research led me to pursue graduate studies, first obtaining an M.A. at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, and ultimately seeking a Ph.D. at Harvard University. I currently hold a curatorial intern fellowship at the Harvard Art Museums where I am working on an upcoming exhibition of Egyptian funerary textiles, and I will soon be completing my dissertation on medieval Islamic material culture at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of History of Art and Architecture.”

Other Art History Alumni

Studio Art Careers

Students learn skills that can be applied directly to the following art-based careers.

  • Artist-in-residence/artists in schools
  • Costume designer
  • Digital media
    • Graphic designer - advertising, corporate, publishing
    • Web designer, webmaster
    • Photo/computer/digital lab technician
  • Gallery owner/administrator
  • Master printer/print studio owner
  • Independent artist
  • Portrait painter/sculptor
  • Set designer
  • Scientific illustrator/technical illustrator
  • Book illustrator, technical/production illustrator
  • Exhibitions designer
  • Freelance photographer
  • Package designer, product designer
  • Urban graphics designer (display, signs, billboards)
  • Fabric and textile designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Teaching (studio art)
    • Teaching university level (MFA required)
    • Teaching at private schools or academies
    • Teaching in public school systems

Holy Cross Visual Arts Alumni - Studio Art