Jump to content

BFA to MA in art history


Recommended Posts

I'm wondering if anyone is going through the same thing that I am going through—switching from BFA in studio to graduate studies in art history.

What was your process, what steps did you take to ease the transition? What are the pros and cons of a studio practice focus as an undergrad when the ultimate goal is art history?

I'm also wondering what is the opinion of those with BAs ABs in art history to those with BFAs who want to switch to art history [specific to me: modern art history theory and criticism].

I have wanted to complete graduate studies in art history since I was a junior, but stayed in studio practice to master theory and its application—identifying and solving problems through fabrication [rather than research and reasoning]. in retrospect, I guess this is what they call building a house starting with the roof.

Right now I'm enrolled as a postbacc in art history. My track was BFA in sculpture from a solid art school, many, many, many internships in museums, non-profits [anything] [especially focusing in editorial so I can improve my writing skills]. I hope to apply to programs for admission in Fall 2013. I graduated from undergrad in May 2010. I'm applying to the Whitney ISP for critical studies for this next year. I'm hoping this will strengthen my critical background a bit. I've taken extra programmatic courses in reading/writing French and German.

BFA to MA, is it hopeless? I've been through so much consultation, worry, and insecurity. In the end, sometimes I worry that no matter how much make up I do, I'm still a sculpture major. Everyone says that I'm doing all the right things, but I worry it isn't enough. Any advice is helpful.

Thank you! Let me know what you think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a specialist in your field, but there should be a standarized test that you can take to prove that you are fit for the graduate program. It is common, more than people think, to switch from natural science to medical science, economics to politics, economics to art history, english to business, etc...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds, flower!, like you are doing your best to patch the art historical gaps in your education, and I'm sure that it'll be worth it. Whatever postbacc courses you're doing, rack 'em up, and consider taking additional art history courses at your local community college as well. I know that the institution where I got my MA required its BFA students to take art history courses, so you've probably been taking art history for a while now. Combining your experience in art history and studio will make you a stronger candidate than a strictly art history student, as long as you've gotten nearly as many courses as a typical art history undergrad education requires (6? 9? 12?).

On another note, my adviser became an art historian in graduate school after earning a BFA. It was a long time ago, but clearly her success is a sign that you can do it too. One thing she mentioned was that she found writing at the graduate level difficult because she didn't write many essays as an undergrad, but it sounds like you're working to correct that right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use