For as far back as we can trace the ancestry of human civilization, art has been a defining endeavor of societies all over the globe. From a theoretical stance, art historians seek to place the study of art in its proper socio-cultural and historical context, so that it may be properly understood as part of this timeless continuum. In a practical sense, finding a job abroad in art history will enable you to apply this contextual knowledge toward a tangible end, working anywhere in the world to further promote the understanding of civilization’s creative pastime.
Why Work Abroad
Art transcends language, culture, ethnicity, geography, and every other wall which might serve to divide and dilute common understanding. Travelling to work abroad in art history is the opportunity to experience firsthand the underlying power of art to embody expression and defy conventional means of communication. Not only will you have the opportunity to immerse yourself within an entirely new country’s artistic landscape as an art historian abroad, but you will also gain a fresh outlook on the globally holistic nature of this most human enterprise.
Art history is a universal subject, and so it is possible to find related work abroad in countries all over the world. Indeed one of the most fascinating aspects of the field is the immense variety of forms art manifests in not only within cultures, but between them as well. Wherever you choose to pursue an art history job abroad can expose you to an entirely new past and present take on the subject matter.
Within the Western world to begin with, Europe is traditionally considered to boast some of the world’s most comprehensive and well-preserved collections of art, architecture, and historical artifacts originating from all over the globe. Countries such as France, Italy, and England are home to some of the finest museums on the planet, and have themselves been at the center of many important artistic movements throughout history.
Beyond Europe, countries ranging from China and India in Asia to Mexico and Peru in Latin America can provide a much different context within which to work abroad in art history. Each home to culturally influential ancient civilizations and unique modern artistic movements, finding a job abroad in any of these countries can provide a deeper insight into the tremendous regional diversity of art history.
Jobs & Positions
Because art history is a broad and abstract field of study, art historians find themselves working in a variety of different professions related to the discipline. It is important to be creative during your search. Traditional settings such as working in a museum or art gallery are common; other related industries you might look into for an art history job abroad include education, publishing, consulting, preservation, and nonprofits.
The language barrier can be a significant obstacle to finding an art history job abroad in many regions of the world. Major art history employers such as museums do tend to value native English-speakers, but still, as within many other professional fields, it will greatly help your chances to find work abroad in art history if you are adept in a second language.
Your salary for working abroad in art history will depend on factors such as the country and specific position you are working in, as well as your own prior qualifications and experience in the field. It may go without saying that art history is not the most profitable industry in the world to work abroad in, but you will make enough to get by most anywhere you go. Art was never about the money, anyway.
Benefits & Challenges
Revived Context. Art history is about placing a work of art within its fitting contextual spectrum, and travelling the world to work abroad is a way to greatly expand your personal and professional scope in that area.
New History. Living in one country your whole life, it’s easy to think about art history from a culturally introverted perspective. Working abroad in art history can help you break free from that limited perception of the past.
Opposing Viewpoints. Cultures think about art differently, and one of the most valuable challenges of landing a job abroad in art history is confronting your own predispositions in relation to those of your host country. How far can you push your artistic senses?
In a field such as art history, which strives to encompass such a widely penetrating and diverse manifestation of human culture, experiencing life in the larger world by working abroad can be the defining decision of your career. Are you ready for a new beginning?