Confessions of an Art Historian

Stephanie Fischer
2 min readSep 8, 2023

After a few years, I am back on this little website where I came across an article I wrote about ways I deal with external doubts about my career choice. It pains me to admit that the doubt has become more internal than external these days.

Here’s the rundown — I graduated with my Master of Arts from New York University in January with a curriculum built of art history, art therapy, digital humanities, and museum studies courses. I had this imaginative plan for myself in graduate school about following my aggressive curiosity and building a career that allowed me to be free in continuing to develop ways in which the view can connect more deeply with the artist.

But, I write to you from the comfort of my New York City apartment where I await a weekend spent working at a grocery store.

Months of applying to hundreds of jobs, only to get a handful of interviews, just to be ghosted by institutions you admire.

I even worked with a recruiter throughout the summer and still, no job. It was an interesting experience working with a recruiter. She called one day, and we had a wonderful conversation. She told me I was a “really good fit for an entry-level role.” Amazing, I, a Master’s degree-holding young professional, was fit for an entry-level role.

However, interviews did come flooding in. Second interviews, trial workdays, and project proposals. Ghosted.

What is wrong with me? I ask myself this on the daily. Was this path a mistake? Should I have listened to those external doubts?

Eventually, I ghosted the recruiter after one of her partner institutions refused to pay me for the work I completed for them.

And just to be clear, I have numerous years of professional experience working in art institutions and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge suitable for a career-oriented role.

While this is all dramatic, I do currently work in the museum field part-time. Hoping for the opportunity to step into a full-time, permanent role at my current institution soon. But, until that happens, I find myself stuck in this constant loop of self-doubt, failure, and then hopefulness.

I am on a path to discovering what I am meant to do. For some reason, it has taken me here. To this moment, hashing out confusion and frustration to the internet once again.

Consider this progress, an excuse to get words out, to write something again. My ideas and thoughts about art are still overflowing and consume me as I stock shelves and help customers. My purpose is still here, and my “why” still matters. I hope yours does, too.

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Stephanie Fischer

Art, psychology, life, and more. Art writer who aims to explore the lives of artists and deepen understanding of art.