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Alumni Profiles

Our alumni have gone on to pursue an extraordinary range of careers. Below are the profiles of just a small number of our alumni.


Below are the profiles of just a small number of alumni who graduated from the BA in History of Art or joint honours degrees including History of Art.



 Hannah Smith

BA History of Art 2018

Visitor Team Assistant at The Whitworth Gallery

“I can’t say how much I enjoyed History of Art and how thankful I am to the dedicated, encouraging and devoted tutors and staff.

Shortly after my final exams I accepted a positon at The Whitworth Gallery; my dream job at an incredible institution. The University of York gave me a well-respected degree and the ability to obtain a career within the arts. For this, I will continue to be thankful to the History of Art department at York for the rest of my life.”

Eleanor Thomas

BA History of Art 2017

Collections Assistant, Wimbledon's Lawn Tennis Museum

"Thank you for the invaluable start History of Art provided in order to pursue my career within the museum sector. Being involved with the Norman Rea Gallery gave me fantastic experience which I still reference in applications!  I have many happy memories of my time at York and with the department.

After completing an MA I worked for Historic Environment Scotland as an Archive and Library Assistant. I now work at Wimbledon's Lawn Tennis Museum as a Collections Assistant, where I am responsible for increasing access to the collections of the museum, photographic archive and library."

Kasimiira Kontio

BA History of Art 2016

Junior Press Assistant, independent music PR and Marketing agency

 “From visual analysis to critique of the mass media, my degree has helped me to create and assist on artist campaigns that are striking with their visual references. The small class sizes gave me courage to speak up in front of audiences, which is crucial in PR.”


Fran Oliver

BA History of Art 2015

Sheffield Hallam University; MSc Events Management


 “Studying History of Art at undergraduate level allowed me to continue developing my knowledge of such an extensive and interesting subject while also enhancing my interpersonal skills, confidence and opportunities. Particularly for a career in Events, being confident, engaging and innovative is very important; the transferrable skills I gained while studying History of Art will inevitably help me kick start my career.”

Katherine Caddy

BA History of Art 2014

Editor of alumni publications at St John's College, Cambridge; freelance arts writer
"Studying in a department led by a group of leading academics opened my eyes as to the depth in which we can consider and reassess matters of history and culture. This level of critical thinking, along with the editorial standard I honed during my undergraduate studies, spurred me to find work first as an assistant editor, and then as an editor, within three years of graduation."

Miranda Larbi

BA History of Art 2013

Lifestyle reporter at
 “History of Art really teaches you to question everything. It's about how you see the world…I often have to produce articles quickly, which require quite a bit of previous research and reading. My degree was probably the best training ground for that level of production.”

Phoebe Reith

BA History of Art 2013

Director of Operations, Speakable PBC, New York.
“Art History at York prepared me for life beyond university as it required me to be a self-starter and work collaboratively with changing groups of people. The inquisitive mind-set and investigational skills I acquired have served me well.”

Isabella Boorman

BA History of Art 2013

Assistant Curator at The Royal Academy of Arts
"Studying History of Art at York inspired me to follow my love of art history as my chosen career path. It was due to my tutors' high quality teaching, encouragement for originality and new ideas, and their belief in me, that encouraged me to have confidence in myself and my career aspirations. Having their continuing  support is something I am very grateful for."

Sophia Stovall

BA English and History of Art 2009

Development Manager, Durham Cathedral
"History of Art opened up my eyes to the wonderful world of medieval history and art - which has led to a life long passion for Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon Art, Culture and impact which I have been fortunate to incorporate into my working life."



Below are the profiles of just a small number of alumni who graduated from one of the department's MA programmes.


Ashley Gonik

  • MA History of Art 2016
  • English teaching assistant in Austria

"The MA program at York had enough flexibility and variety to allow room for experimentation and practical experience, and the breadth and high quality of the staff attracted myriad speakers to the campus for additional exposure to research across multiple fields.”

Emma Hardiman

  • MA History of Art (Medieval Art and Medievalisms) 2016.
  • Digital Curator at Athena.

"Although I studied a medieval pathway I found the skills easily applicable to exploring the psychology of art buyers today. I actually found that studying a culture with very different attitudes towards art and design allowed me to reflect on our own culture and artistic interests. Acquiring a deep understanding of a wide variety of art theory has enhanced my work and ability to confidently talk about artwork to artists and buyers."


Alexandra Beresford

  • MA History of Art 2012
  • Marketing Coordinator, Aesthetica Magazine

‌“From my History of Art postgraduate degree, I gained research skills and greater confidence in the interpretation of vast quantities of original sources… I also developed my communication skills and ability to express ideas through writing and public speaking. Presentation skills are essential in my marketing position and I am grateful that these modes of engaging with an audience were crucial parts of my degree."

Elizabeth Carter

  • MA History of Art 2011
  • Reading and Learning Advisor, York City Library Service; Digitisation Assistant, University of York

“At the moment I am working on a sample of Victorian scrapbooks from Special Collections and often rely on my History of Art background to write material for the project… my advice is get involved in the area that interests you before you graduate… knowing that little bit more about the field that excites you is also going to significantly improve your chances at interviews and make it easier to network.”

Research degrees

Below are the profiles of just a small number of alumni who graduated from one of the department's research programmes.


Vivian K. Sheng

  • MA History of Art 2013
  • PhD History of Art 2017
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong

Vivian has progressed to a fully fleged academic career. She teaches classes on Chinese contemporary art, global feminist art history and transnational art and visual culture and is currently working on a book, provisionally titled Everyday Extraordinary—Women, Chinese Avant-Grade Art and the Local-global Nexus.


Cicely Robinson

  • PhD History of Art 2014
  • Assistant Curator (British Sporting Art), The National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket
  “The ability to conduct focused research and analyse both visual and written material is essential on a day-to-day basis; within a museum it’s vital that you are able to communicate this material to a variety of audiences. Participating in academic discussion throughout my time at York has definitely helped to prepare me for this. In addition, the basic organisation skills you develop during the PhD are hugely useful in any other environment.”

Frances Sands

  • BA History of Art 2006
  • PhD History of Art 2013
  • Catalogue Editor (Adam Drawings Project), Sir John Soane’s Museum, London
 “My post-graduate studies directly afforded me the grounding I needed for this work, allowing me to begin a fun, research-based curatorial career, working hands-on with one of the most important collections of architectural drawings in the world.”

Crispin de Courcey-Bayley

  • PhD History of Art 1999
  • Senior Business Analyst, Swiss Stock Exchange

‌"Although my current job may seem somewhat removed from my PhD studies, I don't see what I do now as being so very different. I analyse lots of diverse information and try to model a simple, elegant solution, and somehow, would like to believe that my appreciation of classical architecture helps me design virtual systems which have the same sense, economy and simplicity. I took away the ability to analyse something fully with no need for guidance or preparation: just throw a problem at me and I should come up with a solution!"

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