Regarding how the humanities are perceived, I think “frivolous” is not even an exaggeration. Last year, Obama like many others before him commented on art history degrees as essentially being a matron degree. This is a horribly misogynistic idea that women who really just want to marry a rich husband choose it. That image is so powerful though. In the forties and fifties art history actually took a very intellectual turn.Some people today consider it the most artificially cerebral of the humanities disciplines. Now, at this point art history has a two-fold appearance as either a society matron’s degree, or the intensely theoretical degree so obtuse that it has almost no practical purpose in society. Both of these are terribly misinformed, and fail to recognize that the humanities and art history exist to expand your intellectual capacity and your ability to think on your own.