Student Experience

As a part of the liberal arts tradition, art history’s emphasis on historical knowledge, critical inquiry, and verbal and written articulation allows students to take a variety of career paths. Our students have become lawyers, teachers, corporate development officers, interior designers, and numerous other occupations.

Hear what some of our graduates have to say about the art history program at Texas Christian University:

“The graduate program at TCU provided a perfect mix of academic training and museum-based experiences. Thanks to close ties with local art museums, I was able to take classes in the museums, learn about different job opportunities across the field, and was able to intern at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The practical experience gained from learning in museums paired with the critical thinking and writing skills gained in the classroom were invaluable assets as I transitioned into my current job.”  

Alejo Benedetti, M.A. 2015
Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


“The museum experience component of TCU’s graduate program in art history is a wonderful, unique opportunity to make connections to Metroplex museums. From valuable internships that allowed me to apply the art history knowledge I learned in the classroom to courses held at museums that helped me learn their collections, my experience at TCU helped prepare me for my career at the Carter…in fact, it even helped me know that I wanted to work there! For someone who is seeking a museum career, TCU’s museum experience is a perfect fit.”

Stacy Fuller, M.A. ‘03
Head of Education, Amon Carter Museum, Western Region Museum of Art;
Educator of the Year, 2011


“At many universities, art history majors pursue their studies isolated from other disciplines and even art objects themselves. In retrospect I think the best thing about my experience at TCU as an art history major ended up being the many connections I was able to make between my studies and other disciplines, from literature and music to philosophy and science. At the same time, taking studio art classes and having access to several outstanding museums ensured that my academic studies had a real connection to the ongoing process of making and displaying art.”

Catherine Craft, B.A. ’87
Independent Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Curator, Nasher Sculpture Center;
Author of An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Students

ARHI
The M.A. Graduating Class of 2015

Consistent with our emphasis on the museum experience, all art history graduate students serve internships for a semester at museums or galleries. Recent graduate students have done their internships in the curatorial, education, editorial, development, public relations, archival, and registrar departments at the following institutions:

Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth

Artspace, San Antonio

Asheville Museum of Art, North Carolina

Dallas Museum of Art

Fort Worth Community Arts Center

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Morgan Library, New York

Sid Richardson Museum, Fort Worth

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

 

ARHI
Grad student Taylor Day outside the Louvre Museum in Paris

Recent grants for research travel from the Mary Jane and Robert Sunkel Art History Endowment have funded graduate student travel to Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and to a number of international sites, including Bologna, Dresden, Florence, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rome, and Stockholm.

ARHI
Grad student Auriel Garza with a favorite Stella in New York

 

ARHI
Professor Babette Bohn in the Barocci Exhibition

The Sunkel Fund also supports group travel to visit art collections or special exhibitions. M.A. students received financial support in recent years to travel to the Saint Louis Art Museum, to see the monographic exhibition on Federico Barocci organized by Professor Bohn, and to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

 

ARHI
Grad student Meg Sander, in front of the portrait she wrote about for her thesis

M.A. students write their theses on a variety of topics from diverse fields, including the art of the ancient Americas, eighteen- and nineteenth-century American and European art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, and contemporary art. Some recent thesis topics are listed below:

Display as Identity: Queen Christina of Sweden’s Construction of a Public Image through her Stanza dei Quadri

Shared Universe: The Fine Art/Comic Book Crossovers of Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley

Should I Never Be Heard From Again?’: The Controversial Reception of Kara Walker

Edward Burne-Jones, G.E. Street, and the American Church in Rome: Revivalism, Religion, and Identity

Plastic Dynamism in Pastel Modernism: Joseph Stella’s Futurist Composition

Dressed for Dynastic Success: Costume, Politics, and Authority in Count Pietro Rotari’s Maria Josepha, Wife of August III (pictured in the photograph)

 The Construction of Identity in Post-Chicano Art

The Portrait Drawings of Lavinia Fontana

Vanitas and the Dialectical Image in the Art of Otto Dix

Crossing Boundaries: Gallery, Borders, and Tradition: The Works of Teresa Margolles

Masculinity and Homosociality in the Portrait Drawings of Annibale Carracci

The Source of Appropriation: Sherrie Levine’s After Walker Evans Suite

Joseph Havel: The Bronze Drapes and the Viewer’s Experience

Confraternal Mercy and Federico Barocci’s Madonna del Popolo

Setting the Stage: Theaster Gates through the Lens of Performance

‘Contagion’: Paul McCarthy Leaks Out

Picturing the Mother: Feminist Art and the Maternal

The Medium is the Message: Bruce Nauman’s Films, Videos, and Video Corridors

Enrique Chavarria

Ethnography and Beauty: A Closer Look at Charles Cordier’s Polychrome Busts

Fictitious Criticism at the Close of the 1960s: Parody, Performativity, and the Postmodern

Marcel Broodthaers’s Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles: The Nexus of Institutional Critique

Diana Mantuana: Becoming the First Female Engraver

‘Life in a Day’: A ‘Family of Man’ for the YouTube Generation

Memorializing a ‘Forgotten War’ The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Context

Dorothea Tanning’s Pincushion to Serve as Fetish and the Exploitation of Surrealism

Looking at Art: Photographs of Museums and Visitors as Institutional Critique

 

Student Accomplishments:

Careers

Many of our graduates have gone on to secure jobs at museums, universities, and galleries. Some of these positions include:

  • Executive Director, The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, Los Angeles
  • Director and CEO, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City
  • Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
  • Owner/Director, Norwood Gallery, Austin
  • Professor of Art History, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi
  • Assistant Professor, Chester College of New England; Whitman College; Loyola College of Maryland
  • Assistant Professor, UT Tyler
  • Assistant Professor, Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Researcher, Botanical Research Institute of Texas
  • Director of Education, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
  • Head of Education, Amon Carter Museum of Art; Western Region Art Educator of the Year—National Art Education Association
  • Curator of Education, Kimbell Art Museum
  • Assistant Curator, Prints & Drawings at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Vice President and Trust Officer at Citi Trust; Director of Individual Giving at the New York Botanical Garden
  • Tour Director at NETC Educational Travel; Member & Advisor – Visual Arts Committee at Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland; Past Chair – Board of Directors at Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland; Program Coordinator, Fulbright Commission, U.S.-Mexico Commission for the Cultural and Educational Exchange
  • Administrator of Art & Programs at The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin
  • Curator of Academic Programs, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
  • Editor, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Assistant Curator of Educaton
  • Media Relations Coordinator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
  • Membership Manager, Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Membership Manager, San Antonio Museum of Art
  • Coordinator of Family Services, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Grant Writer and Marketing Coordinator, Ellen Noël Art Museum, Odessa, TX
  • Graphics Coordinator at The Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix; Assistant Curator, Visual Research Library, Arizona State University
  • Visual Resource Collection Coordinator, Amon Carter Museum
  • Associate Registrar, New York Historical Society, New York
  • Registrar, University of Minnesota Art Museum
  • Assistant Curator, Visual Resource Collection, Arizona State University
  • Reference Librarian, Photographic Archives and Special Collections, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
  • Development Office, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Development Director, St. Lawrence Arts Center, Portland, ME; Deputy Director, Victoria Mansion, Portland, Maine
  • Director, David Lusk Gallery, Memphis
  • Director, William Reaves Gallery, Houston
  • Conservator of Works on Paper, Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Impressionist and Modern Art Specialist, Christie’s, New York
  • Research Assistant, Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Gallery Assistant, Pace Prints Gallery, New York; Sperone Westwater, New York
  • Gallery Assistant, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles
  • Assistant to Paintings Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum
  • Curatorial Assistant, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
  • Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Curatorial Assistant, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Curatorial Assistant, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Curatorial Assistant, Amon Carter Museum of American Art
  • Curatorial Assistant, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Curatorial Assistant, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
  • Curatorial Assistant, Rienzi Center for European Decorative Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • McDermott Internship, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Publications and Public Relations Assistant, Kimbell Art Museum
  • Art Writer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • AP Arts Assistant Director, AP Strategies Arts, Dallas
  • Art History Teacher, Fort Worth Country Day School

Graduate Study

Many undergraduate art history majors and M.A. students have gone on to pursue graduate study at a wide range of institutions. TCU art history students have been accepted into the following graduate programs:

  • Brown University
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Courtauld Institute, London
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Indiana University
  • Royal Holloway College, Surrey, England
  • Penn State University
  • Sotheby’s Institute of Art
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Tulane University
  • University of California at Santa Barbara
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Illinois at Campaign-Urbana
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Sussex, Brighton, England
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Virginia
  • Williams College

For information on careers available to art history majors see:

American Alliance of Museums
Career alternatives for art historians
Center for Museum Studies
College Art Association

“The graduate program at TCU provided a perfect mix of academic training and museum-based experiences. Thanks to close ties with local art museums, I was able to take classes in the museums, learn about different job opportunities across the field, and was able to intern at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The practical experience gained from learning in museums paired with the critical thinking and writing skills gained in the classroom were invaluable assets as I transitioned into my current job.”

– Alejo Benedetti, MA 2015, Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art