Art History Professor

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

An Art History Professor job description includes teaching students about the history of art. They analyze various art forms, communicate the meaning behind the artwork, and help students connect with the past through visual arts. These professors are experts in art history, which enables them to guide and mentor students about the different colours and styles of art. They use various instructional strategies, such as lectures, discussions, and visual presentations, to help students understand the material effectively. Art History Professors may also conduct research related to art history and participate in academic conferences to share their findings. They should be familiar with various tools that help in teaching, including multimedia software, projectors, and cameras. These professors may also offer office hours to provide extra guidance to students. The Art History Professor job requires a passion for arts and knowledge about art history, along with advanced education and teaching experience.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach students about various art movements and styles throughout history
  • Create lesson plans and curriculum for art history courses
  • Evaluate and grade student assignments and exams
  • Conduct research in art history and contribute to academic publications
  • Advise and mentor students in their academic and career pursuits
  • Attend faculty meetings and participate in university committees
  • Maintain a professional and respectful classroom environment
  • Stay up-to-date with current trends and developments in the field of art history
  • Collaborate with colleagues on interdisciplinary projects
  • Participate in academic conferences and present research findings to peers.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an Art History Professor, a person usually needs to have both education and experience in the field of art history. They will need to have earned a doctoral degree in the subject from an accredited university. This means they have completed rigorous coursework, research, and writing, and passed a comprehensive exam. 

Additionally, they should have experience teaching at the collegiate level, either as a teaching assistant or instructor. Experience conducting research, publishing articles or books, and presenting at conferences is also important. A strong understanding of art history theories, methods, and techniques is necessary, as well as knowledge of historical and contemporary art movements, artists, and cultures. It's a competitive field, but those who are passionate about art history can pursue this rewarding career.

Salary Range

Art History Professor salary range differs from one country to another. In the United States, an Art History Professor's median salary is from $56,000 to $91,000 per year, according to PayScale. The salary range can vary according to the institution, location, experience level and other factors. According to the HigherEdJobs salary report, the average salary for full-time Art History Professors in 2020 was $78,580. In Canada, an Art History Professor can expect to earn between CAD 55,000 to CAD 125,000 per year. In the United Kingdom, the average salary for a senior lecturer in Art History is around £50,000 per year. This salary range may vary depending on the institution and location.


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Career Outlook

The career outlook for Art History Professors in the Education industry is expected to remain the same over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected 9% growth rate for all post-secondary teachers from 2019-2029. The need for college-level educators in the arts is high and many universities and colleges offer degrees in Art History. However, the demand for Art History Professors may be limited to certain geographic areas and specific institutions. While there is competition for faculty positions, those with advanced degrees and published research may have an advantage. Nonetheless, the outlook for Art History Professors remains stable with potential growth in some areas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an Art History Professor do?

A: An Art History Professor teaches students about the history and theory of art, including its different styles, cultures, and historical periods.

Q: What level of education do I need to become an Art History Professor?

A: To become an Art History Professor, you will need to have completed a doctoral degree in Art History, and have a strong background in research and experience in teaching.

Q: What skills or qualities are important for an Art History Professor to have?

A: An Art History Professor should have strong research and analytical skills, excellent communication skills, and be passionate about teaching and learning.

Q: What is the job outlook for Art History Professors?

A: The job outlook for Art History Professors is expected to grow at an average rate, and competition for tenure-track positions is high, so having publications and experience in the field is important.

Q: What kind of courses would an Art History Professor teach?

A: An Art History Professor would teach courses like “Introduction to Art History,” “Renaissance Art,” “Modern Art,” “Contemporary Art,” and “Art Theory and Criticism.”

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