The value of an art history degree has become The Political Issue of Our Time. President Obama might have seen this coming — when he remarked during a speech last week that "folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree," he quickly followed with this: "There's nothing wrong with an art history degree, I love art history. So I don't want to get a bunch of emails from everybody." Well, he did get emails. And he ended up responding to one with a handwritten apology.
After University of Texas professor Ann Collins Johns emailed Obama pointing out the value in art history, Obama wrote this:
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.
Well, that could have been that, but now GOP 2016 hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio has weighed in on Twitter.
Hear that, Mr. President? You were right the first time. Art history is totally dumb.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.