Art History Alumni

Some Art History majors and minors go on to do graduate work in Art History, but many of them have gone on to law school, business school, and even medical school. Students with an interest in a museum career have earned internships at major American museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University, Cambridge, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Alumni Profiles

Taylor Page '13Taylor Page '13
Development Assistant, Planned Giving at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Responsibilities: Providing support for the directors of Planned Giving and Leadership (Major) Gifts in the Development department of the MFA. This includes everything from answering donor's questions over the phone to helping realize major gifts to the Museum.
Path to Position: "I worked at a trust and estate attorney's office the summer after my junior year, which prepared me for a position in planned giving. During my senior year, I interned at Christie's in their Estates, Appraisals, and Valuations department, which gave me an 'in' into the art world and continued my education in the issues of estate planning. After graduation, I spent my summer working at a small art gallery on the coast of Maine, helping to run the gallery, and creating and implementing a marketing plan. At the end of the summer, I took the job at the MFA."
How Bowdoin Helped: "I think that my liberal arts education has been almost wholly responsible for any success I have today because it taught me how to synthesize information across different fields, speak articulately about many subjects, and to be open and curious. I also have to give credit to Bowdoin's Art History professors for providing a nurturing and challenging environment where I always felt like a scholar with something legitimate to say. And of course, the Bowdoin alumni network is incredible and not to be overlooked!"
Advice: "I think my number one piece of advice would be to use that Bowdoin network - talk to everyone, listen to the Career Planning folks, just put yourself out there. Also, try the best you can to not freak out because you really will find something!"

Liz Shepherd '09
Liz Shepherd '09
Communications Associate at Instagram
Responsibilities: Liz does consumer and technology communications for Instagram. She uncovers how people are using Instagram in unique and creative ways and shares their stories with the press. These stories range from those of photojournalists using Instagram to launch their careers, to the ways in which World Cup players and fans use the platform to express their excitement.
Path to Position: While at Bowdoin, Liz worked on Tom Allen '67's congressional reelection campaign. The experience drew her to politics, and after graduation she got a job in D.C. working for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Liz continued on a political path, eventually serving as assistant press secretary for the Democratic National Committee reporting to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. While in this position, Liz created and managed an Instagram account for Wasserman that was featured by Instagram, serving as her first direct engagement with the company. When the opportunity to work at Instagram came up, Liz jumped at the opportunity to work for a company she was passionate about and to return to her hometown of San Francisco.
How Bowdoin Helped: The visual nature of Liz's Art History major has been a significant asset in her role. The eye for visual detail, as well as the appreciation for fine art and photography that she developed while studying at Bowdoin, serve her well when working with images on an everyday basis.
Advice: "You have to follow the career path as it unfolds." Liz believes that you cannot plan ahead for the future because so many unexpected career options exist. Instead, Liz suggests that students focus on their strengths and pinpoint what they are passionate about and then follow that wherever it takes them. Also, in terms of making the most of time at Bowdoin, Liz suggests that students find professors that they love and take as many courses with them as possible, even if it is in a subject they don't think they are interested in. You never know what you could end up enjoying!

Jessica Brooks '07Jessica Brooks '07
Special Assistant to the Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council, The White House
Responsibilities: "I directly support the Senior Director and European Affairs office at the National Security Council (NSC), which is responsible for preparing the President for many of the substantive foreign policy issues he faces. This can range from writing talking points for his speeches and bilateral meetings in Europe to summarizing the latest changes in Ukraine or preparing him for a meeting with our European allies. The best part is being surrounded by really intelligent, hard-working people, and working for a very humble and team-oriented boss (Susan Rice, the National Security Advisor). It's really just an honor to be there and support a President I believe in."
Path to Position: "I've had a government job for a few years, which I found through the Presidential Management Fellowship after grad school in Geneva, Switzerland. I studied International Affairs for my Master's and the PMF is a great opportunity for anyone with a Master's or advanced degree who is interested in government service (for any field - ranging from Energy to State, to Justice, etc.)."
How Bowdoin Helped: "I can't say enough about the amazing ways Bowdoin has prepped me for so many elements of life. There are a shocking number of NESCACers at the White House, and at least one other Polar Bear. Though I'm using my Gov major a bit more than my Art History major in terms of substantive work, the professors in the Art History Department are truly top notch and led to some of my best papers and analysis at college - which truly served me in grad school and beyond."
Advice: "Don't limit yourself in terms of options - take classes that other people say are hard or boring. You never know how it might serve you later on. Value your relationships and build on them - so many professors went out of their way to give me professional advice, and my mentor now is someone I met through Bowdoin. His advice has been invaluable. Get out of the books and enjoy Brunswick and Maine - you'll keep bumping into Polar Bears down the road!"

halley k harrisburg '90 Halley K Harrisburg '90
has worked in the art profession for more than twenty years. Beginning her career at Josh Baer Gallery, she teamed in 1992 with Michael Rosenfeld of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, where she has organized significant exhibitions that have explored the depth and breadth of twentieth-century American art.  more »

Art History Majors - Beyond Bowdoin

Destinations of Recent Graduates

Wild Apple Graphics Bowdoin College, Field Hockey Coach
Cambridge Consulting Associates Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
Boston Museum of Fine Arts First Grade Teacher
Investment Analyst Fulbright Commission
D.C. Teaching Fellows Columbia University, Teaching Fellow
Common Street Arts Smathers & Branson
American Museum of Natural History Art Institute of Chicago
Martha Stewart Living Architectural Designer
Portland Museum of Art Julia Gabriel Education
Christie's Graphic Designer
Harvard University Children's Museum of Denver
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Sotheby's
Graphic Designer Biochemistry Editor at Firecracker
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Accounting Executive
Researcher for Morgan McKinley Web Designer

Current Activities of Alums 5-7 Years Beyond Bowdoin

Peter Pennoyer Architects EDF Climate Corp Fellow
Boston Museum of Fine Arts Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
New York Foundation for the Arts Columbia University
Lawyer Maine Brewer's Guild
Center for Curatorial Leadership Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP
Advertising Sales Manager Aspen Country Day School
Main Line Art Center Energy Vision
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bates College, Director of Reunion Fundraising
The Pace Gallery LLC Maplebrook Boarding School
Instagram Teen Vogue
Dunleavy & Associates Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Lecturer
Christie's Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Research Intern
HSBC, Equity Capital Markets Associate         Project Manager, Ketchum
National Trust for Historic Preservation Tech Kids, Unlimited

Have more questions about what you can do with a Bowdoin education? Come to the Career Planning Center. First floor, Moulton Union

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