Obama walks back dig at art history career

Obama walks back dig at art history career

A couple of weeks after joking that Americans would be better off pursuing a skilled trade than an art history degree, President Obama has apologized to one professor who took offense–with a handwritten note.

Speaking at a General Electric gas engine plant on Jan. 30 in Wisconsin, Obama suggested that training to work in the manufacturing industry might be more profitable than specializing in art history.

“Manufacturing jobs typically pay well,” he said. “We want to encourage more of them.”

While Obama quickly backtracked– “Now, there’s nothing wrong with history. I love art history,” he told the crowd, that didn’t placate everyone.

University of Texas at Austin art history professor Ann Collins Johns sent Obama an e-mail through the White House Web site the following day, noting that the discipline encourages critical thinking. He sent her a handwritten note on Feb. 12, according to the Web site Hyperallergic.

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