President Obama Responds to Ann John's Defense of Art History
Ann Johns, senior lecturer in Art History, has recently been in the news after she received a handwritten note of apology from President Obama. The note came in response to a message Johns submitted via the White House website in which she defended the field of art history after Obama made off-the-cuff remarks during a speech at a manufacturing plant in which he said "folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree". (He quickly added, "Nothing wrong with art history degree. I love art history.") According to Johns, her message "was not so much one of outrage at Obama’s statement, but rather a ‘look what we do well’ statement. I emphasized that as art historians, we challenge our students to think, read and write critically. I also stressed how inclusive our discipline is these days."