Thursday, February 20, 2014

Must not disrespect art history

What good is it?  Either you like a piece of art or you don't,  as far as I can see  -- JR

President Obama has apologized to art history professor Ann Collins Johns from the University of Texas at Austin. Johns had taken offense to the president's comments about the job prospects of art history majors last month, and sent him an email defending the academic merit of art history.

The president replied with a hand-written note, which shocked Johns, a self-described "Obama fan."

"Ann —

Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.

So please pass on my apology for the glib remark to the entire department, and understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.


Barack Obama"

The offending remarks last month were spoken at a GE manufacturing plant as President Obama was trying to promote the manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing jobs typically pay well,” he said. “We want to encourage more of them.”

And while some young people might not think of the skilled trades as a lucrative career, Obama added, they can probably earn more “than they might than [with] an art history degree.”

Art historians were not pleased with Obama's rhetoric.



Anonymous said...

I wonder if Obama would also suggest politics as an "honorable career".

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts sometimes. Most trades will earn more than an art history degree these days. That's the job market. To sugar coat it does nothing to help those struggling to find a job in this economy.

Anonymous said...

Q. What do art history majors say the first day on the job?

A. Would you like fries with that?

Anonymous said...

3:07 - but perhaps they can then bring some incidental culture to the uncultured masses they serve, and then their education would be more generally useful to society even if not very well paid.

Anonymous said...

The ONE time Obama speaks the truth and he appologizes for it.

Anonymous said...

3:26 AM;
Progressive drivel masquerading as academic expertise is not “culture”. The art history elitists are a miniscule voice in the human drama and very few of the rest of us agree with any of their BS.


Dean said...

Anon 3:42 - Came here to say that. You beat me.

Anonymous said...

It's nice of the president to give lip service to manufacturing jobs. It would be even nicer if he would reverse his anti business policies which force more of those jobs overseas.

Anonymous said...

Its not just art history grads who are struggling to get a decent paid job - he could have used dozens of degree courses.