I guess if you have a degree in Art History it would be elite because any kind if achievement deserves respect. Even if it is a small thing you worked to achieve that so you should be respected. If you go all the way to college for art history you should get to be called elite for it.
Some might argue that "the elite" are those that make the most money. This is true, but the children of those elite don't always seek college degrees to further any kind of career. Rather low earning degrees in the humanities tend to go to students who are not as concerned about their financial futures as, for example, a mother of two who goes back to school to get her associates in medical transcription or accounting.
No, an Art History degree is not for the elite. I do not think any art degree is, and I love the arts. It's just that the majority of people in that major do not make it and it becomes a useless degree. An elite degree would be in something in the medical or criminal justice fields.
I do not think that one degree is above another degree. Art history would fall into the humanities degree and most universities and community colleges carry the art history degree. We live in America and we should have the freedom to pursue our dreams and goals, and I believe that everyone has the right to obtain an art history degree if that is what they want to do!