Tag Archives: Discovering a Major

Discovering a Major: Art History and Museum Professions

by Stephanie Zlotnick as told to Emily Bennett

Steph Zlotnick

Steph Zlotnick

 

I am entering my sixth semester at FIT. I was originally Fashion Merchandising Management, which I got my AAS in, and then I switched into Art History and Museum Professions for my Bachelors of Science degree. I actually did not know that FIT had this major until the middle of my freshman year. I knew coming here that they had an art history minor, so I thought that I would want to do that, but when I found out there was a Bachelors major for it I  chose that instead since I fell in love with the classes.

I had to take some art history classes in FMM for my liberal arts requirements and I just fell in love with them. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to stay in FMM for all four years, so when I found out that there was an Art History major, I decided to switch into it. I really like that it’s a combination of art history classes and business classes, teaching us the ins and outs of museums. I also like that the classes are more focused on writing, which is something I missed in my FMM classes. Art History and Museum Professions really teaches us both about art history in a variety of concentrations and how museums run. Many of our classes involve the history and purpose of museums as well as the administrative and business aspects of museum management.

Right now, I’m not completely sure what I want to do for my career in the end, but I really like the idea of doing special events or development in a museum. The degree is non-curatorial, but it prepares us for other departments within museums, like PR, development, education, special events, etc.

This past summer, I interned for ArtsWestchester, a small non-profit organization in White Plains, NY that runs programs and events to promote arts throughout Westchester County. I worked in the Development department as a Special Events/Fundraising intern, so I worked on planning an auction and gala to raise money for the organization.

It’s a difficult decision, but I think the most interesting classes I have taken are “Modern Art” and “History and Meaning of Museum”. I learned so much from them about art history in general as well as how much art and museums depend on culture and vice versa.

I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned at FIT is that it’s okay to not know exactly what you want right away. I came here thinking I would work in fashion, but when I didn’t love FMM as much as I thought I would, it was nice to know that I could switch my major to something I really wanted to learn more about, and it’s not wrong to want a change.

 


 

 Find out more about the Art History and Museum Professions major (BS) here!
–Emily–

Discovering a Major: Fabric Styling

Despite the fact that the Fashion Design and the Fashion Merchandising Management programs are by far the largest here, FIT is not just a “fashion” school. We offer 29 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs. However, even after four years I was shocked, shocked, to find out that majors existed that I had never heard of (I’m looking at you Home Products Design). So, in an effort to bring to light the many other fantastic opportunities FIT offers, I am started a new segment called “Discovering a Major”.

Usually, I will have mini interviews with students from each major giving insight into what they actually do and learn, but for this first installment I think I will discuss my own rather unknown major: Fabric Styling.

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

Originally, I was a Fashion Design major and got my Associates Degree in that. However, towards the end of my second year I was getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the program. After many hours of crying on the phone with my mom questioning every possible path I could take, I decided to switch my major on the last possible day to apply for Fabric Styling.

Fabric Styling is a weird major, and no one really knows how to describe it. I say it’s a very broad field of study that mixes textile development, trend forecasting and actual styling. This variety is a big part of why I chose it. At 20 years old I really didn’t have a clear sign of exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and choosing a less specific major was actually really freeing for me and re-ignited my creativity.

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

I am still not totally clear on where I want to be after I graduate (and yes, it is still extremely stressful), but i know I want to stay in the fashion world and travel around the world. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that allows me to do both. So far I have had internships with a small fashion designer, ELLE magazine, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an agency for stylists.

I was the first Fabric Styling student (along with one classmate) to have the chance to study abroad. Florence was amazing, although most of our classes were not exactly what students in New York were doing. I will say the program is not run perfectly, but there are lots of opportunities available if you take advantage of them.

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

I really enjoy the “Fabric Styling” and “Research Techniques” classes because although the projects have specific end goals, we are free to achieve them however we feel and it has allowed me to creatively stretch my presentation skills. My least favorite class so far has been  “Advertising and Promotion”. I just don’t think the advertising and marketing worlds are for me, although it was helpful to be introduced to the more business side of the industry.

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

My favorite part of the major is that it is only a Bachelor’s degree program so everyone comes from different academic backgrounds. Most people started in the Fashion Merchandising Management (although the department has been changing their policies and as of now is no longer accepting anyone from the business school unfortunately), but I have classmates that have studied Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, Textile/Surface Design and even transferred from outside liberal arts colleges. It has been really helpful to not only see how they interpret the projects, but also hear their critiques and past experiences.

If you are interested in more examples of work I have done for Fabric Styling you can see my portfolio here. To learn more about the major itself click here!

I hope to introduce you to more of the lesser-known majors FIT offers soon!

–Emily–