Art History Vs. Restoration Art

Are you torn between pursuing a major in Art History or Restoration Art? Well, you’re not alone. According to recent surveys, 42% of aspiring art students struggle to choose between these two fascinating fields.

In this article, we will delve into the details of both majors, exploring their curriculum, skills development, career opportunities, and salary potential. By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which path aligns best with your interests and aspirations.

So, let’s dive in and uncover the differences and similarities between Art History and Restoration Art!

Key Takeaways

  • Art history and restoration art are popular majors for studying and preserving artistic works
  • Technology has revolutionized the study and practice of both majors, making it easier to access and analyze artworks
  • Art history curriculum focuses on in-depth study of art theories and concepts, while restoration art curriculum focuses on hands-on training in conservation techniques
  • Career opportunities for art history graduates include museum curators, art consultants, and educators, while restoration art professionals work in museums, conservation labs, and as independent conservators.

Overview of the two art-related majors

Art history and restoration art are two popular majors for students interested in the study and preservation of artistic works. While both majors focus on art, they have distinct differences in terms of required internships.

Art history majors often intern at museums, galleries, or auction houses, where they gain hands-on experience in curating exhibitions, conducting research, and writing about artworks. On the other hand, restoration art majors typically intern at conservation labs or restoration studios, where they learn techniques for preserving and restoring artworks. These internships provide valuable practical skills that complement the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom.

Technology has greatly impacted the study and practice of both art history and restoration art. In art history, advancements in digital imaging and online databases have made it easier to access and analyze artworks from around the world. Scholars can now examine high-resolution images, collaborate with colleagues remotely, and conduct virtual reconstructions of damaged or lost artworks.

In restoration art, technological advancements have led to the development of sophisticated tools and techniques for cleaning, repairing, and preserving artworks. For example, laser technology can be used to remove layers of dirt or varnish without damaging the underlying artwork. Overall, technology has revolutionized the way art history and restoration art are studied and practiced, enhancing both fields and enabling greater preservation of our artistic heritage.

Overview of the curriculum and coursework of the two majors

The curriculum for the major in art history includes an extensive range of coursework, while restoration art focuses more on hands-on techniques and practical skills.

In art history, you will delve into the theoretical aspects of art, studying various art movements, analyzing artworks, and exploring the cultural and historical contexts in which they were created.

On the other hand, restoration art emphasizes practical skills such as cleaning, repairing, and preserving artworks.

Here are some key differences between the two majors:

  • Art history:
  • In-depth study of art theories and concepts
  • Analysis and interpretation of artworks
  • Research and critical writing skills development
  • Museum and gallery visits for firsthand exposure to artworks
  • Restoration art:
  • Hands-on training in conservation techniques
  • Understanding of materials and their deterioration processes
  • Collaboration with museums and art institutions for restoration projects
  • Practical experience with conservation tools and technologies

While art history focuses on theoretical knowledge and research, restoration art provides a more practical approach, equipping you with the skills to preserve and restore artworks.

Overview of coursework and assessments in art restoration

When studying restoration, you’ll engage in hands-on training and collaborate with art institutions to develop practical skills in preserving and repairing artworks.

The coursework in art restoration is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and techniques involved in restoring artworks. You’ll learn about the different materials and tools used in restoration, as well as the various methods and approaches employed in the field.

Assessments in art restoration typically involve practical assignments where you’ll be required to restore damaged artworks using the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the course. These assessments will test your ability to assess the condition of an artwork, develop a restoration plan, and execute the necessary repairs.

Additionally, you may also be assessed on your understanding of the ethical considerations and guidelines that govern the practice of art restoration.

Comparison of Skills Developed: Technical Expertise

Developing technical expertise in art restoration involves gaining a deep understanding of materials, tools, and methods used in the field. This requires practical training and hands-on experience to master the necessary skills. When comparing the skills developed in art restoration to those in art history, there are notable differences.

In art restoration, you acquire the ability to meticulously examine and analyze artworks, identifying signs of decay or damage. You also learn how to apply various conservation techniques to restore and preserve the artistic integrity of the pieces. These skills evoke a sense of precision and attention to detail.

Furthermore, you gain proficiency in using specialized tools such as microscopes, solvents, and brushes to delicately clean and repair artworks. This fosters a sense of craftsmanship and craftsmanship in the restoration process.

Lastly, you develop the ability to collaborate with other professionals, such as curators and conservators, to create comprehensive restoration plans. This cultivates a sense of teamwork and collaboration in the pursuit of preserving cultural heritage.

Comparison of Career Opportunities and Job Roles in Art History and Restoration Art Fields

In comparing career opportunities and job roles, there are distinct differences between the fields of art history and restoration art.

When it comes to career prospects, art history offers a wide range of options. Graduates can pursue positions as museum curators, art consultants, or art educators. They can also work in galleries, auction houses, or as freelance writers and critics.

On the other hand, restoration art mainly focuses on the conservation and preservation of artworks. Job responsibilities in this field include assessing the condition of artworks, conducting research on materials and techniques, and performing conservation treatments. Restoration art professionals can work in museums, conservation labs, or as independent conservators.

It is crucial for individuals interested in these fields to consider their own interests and skill sets to determine which path aligns better with their career goals.

Comparison of Salary Potential in Art History and Restoration Art Fields

If you want to compare salary potential, you’ll find distinct differences between the fields of art history and restoration art. While both fields offer unique opportunities to work with art and cultural heritage, the financial rewards can vary significantly. Here are four key factors to consider:

  1. Education and Experience: In art history, a higher level of education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, can lead to better-paying positions in academia or museums. In restoration art, specialized training and certification in conservation techniques are highly valued and can result in higher salaries.
  2. Job Prospects: Art history graduates may face a competitive job market, as there are fewer positions available in museums and galleries. On the other hand, restoration art professionals often find employment opportunities in government agencies, private conservation firms, and museums.
  3. Demand for Skills: The demand for art historians is primarily driven by the need for research and interpretation of artworks. In contrast, restoration art professionals are in demand for their expertise in preserving and restoring artwork, which requires specialized skills and knowledge.
  4. Industry and Location: The salary potential in both fields can be influenced by the industry and location of employment. For example, working in prestigious art institutions or in major cities with a thriving art market can lead to higher salaries.

Similarities between art history and restoration art curricula

When choosing between studying art history and restoration art, you’ll find that the curricula share some similarities. Both disciplines require a strong foundation in art theory, historical context, and the ability to analyze and interpret artwork.

In terms of coursework, you can expect to study various art movements and styles, as well as the techniques and materials used in creating and restoring artworks. Additionally, both programs often include hands-on practical experiences, such as internships or fieldwork, where students can apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.

The curriculum in both art history and restoration art aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of art, its history, and its preservation. So, whether you choose to study art history or restoration art, you can expect to develop a solid foundation in art and its various aspects.

Difference in job prospects between the two majors

The job prospects for graduates of art history and restoration art programs differ significantly. While both fields offer opportunities for employment, the job market demand and long-term career prospects vary for each.

Art history graduates often find employment in museums, galleries, and academia, where their knowledge of art and its historical context is highly valued. However, the competition for these positions can be fierce, and advancement may require further education or specialization.

On the other hand, restoration art graduates are in high demand due to the need for preserving and restoring valuable artworks. They can find employment in museums, cultural institutions, and private restoration studios. With the increasing focus on preserving cultural heritage, restoration art professionals have promising long-term career prospects.

Factors to consider when choosing between art history and restoration art majors

Consider your interests, skills, and long-term career goals when deciding between studying art history or restoration art. Both majors offer unique opportunities, but there are several factors to consider before making a decision.

  1. Personal Interests: Think about which subject excites you more. Are you passionate about studying the historical context and significance of artworks? Or do you enjoy the hands-on process of preserving and repairing artworks?
  2. Skills and Aptitude: Assess your strengths and abilities. Are you more inclined towards research, analysis, and critical thinking? Or do you possess practical skills such as attention to detail, patience, and manual dexterity?
  3. Job Prospects: Research the job market for both fields. Consider the demand for art historians and restoration specialists in your area. Look into potential career paths, salary ranges, and advancement opportunities.
  4. Long-term Goals: Reflect on your long-term career goals. Do you see yourself working in a museum, gallery, or academia as an art historian? Or does the idea of working in a conservation studio, restoring valuable artworks, appeal to you?


You’ve embarked on a journey through the world of art, exploring the paths of art history and restoration art.

As you’ve delved into the curriculum and coursework of these majors, you’ve witnessed the development of technical expertise in both fields.

The career opportunities and job roles in these realms are diverse and fulfilling, offering you a chance to make your mark on the art world.

While salary potential may vary, the passion and dedication you bring to your craft will undoubtedly shape your success.

As you weigh your options, consider the similarities and differences between these majors, and let your heart lead you towards the path that resonates with your artistic soul.