Art History

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The Art History program at Bakersfield College offers students an opportunity to study the visual arts and their role in shaping human culture and history. Students will learn about the major art movements, styles, and techniques used throughout history, and will have the opportunity to analyze and interpret works of art from various cultures and time periods.

woman staring at art on wallWhat is Art History?

Art history is the academic study of art, including its creation, interpretation, and historical significance. It encompasses a wide range of visual arts, including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, and other forms of media. Art historians study the works of artists and the cultural and historical contexts in which they were created, as well as the techniques, materials, and styles used; and examine the ways in which art has been collected, displayed, and valued over time.

Art history helps us to understand the ways in which the visual arts have shaped human culture and to appreciate the role that art has played in society and history and gives a deeper understanding of the visual arts and their place in the world.

Students will also develop critical thinking and writing skills and gain a deeper understanding of the role that the visual arts play in our lives. Whether you're a lifelong art enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of art, the Art History program at Bakersfield College provides an engaging and comprehensive introduction to this fascinating field.

Is Art History right for Me?

The study of art history can be a good fit for individuals with a wide range of interests and backgrounds. Some key traits and skills that may make you well-suited for studying art history include:

  • A love of art
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Curiosity
  • Attention to detail

If you have a passion for art, history, and cultural studies, and are interested in pursuing a career in art history, museum curation, art conservation, or art education, you may find that the study of art history is a good fit for you.

Art History Degree

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The Associate in Arts in Art History for Transfer Degree will engage students in the study of art created by individuals and groups from various culture, geographies, and time periods.
BC students walking and talking on campus
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close up of hand painting on canvasCareers in Art History

Graduates with an AA-T in Art History can pursue a variety of careers in the arts, education, and cultural sectors. Some common careers for graduates with this degree include:

  • Art museum curator: An art museum curator is responsible for managing a collection of art and overseeing exhibitions and educational programs.
  • Art conservator: An art conservator is responsible for preserving and restoring works of art, and ensuring that they are protected and preserved for future generations.
  • Art teacher: An art teacher is responsible for teaching students about art history, techniques, and helping students to develop their own artistic skills.
  • Gallery assistant: A gallery assistant works in a commercial art gallery, helping to curate exhibitions, market artworks, and manage the sales process.
  • Art researcher: An art researcher is responsible for conducting research on various aspects of art history, such as artists, movements, or styles, and sharing their findings with others.
  • Art therapist: An art therapist uses art as a form of therapy to help individuals express themselves, manage their emotions, and improve their mental health.
  • Arts administrator: An arts administrator is responsible for managing the financial and organizational aspects of arts organizations, such as theaters, galleries, and museums.

You may also choose to continue your education and pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in Art History or a related field, which can lead to more advanced and specialized careers in the field.

Transfer Pathways

After earning an AA-T in Art History from Bakersfield College, you may choose to continue your education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. As this is an Associate in Science for Transfer, students with this degree “are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community major” (Bakersfield College Catalog, Educational Options).

See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for guidance and to explore your options.

Academic Department: Art

Career & Learning Pathway: Art, Communication & Humanities (ACH) Pathway

Courses: Art (ART)

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