BA in Art History

Anne Hyland, 2014

Anne Hyland

So what are you up to now professionally?

I am currently working as a guide on the Visitor Experience team at Glenstone. Glenstone is a private collection contemporary art museum in Potomac, Maryland that is free and open to the public. Glenstone’s mission is focused on the integration of art, architecture, and landscape and has a great interest in sustainability. The collection consists of Post-war/Contemporary art and our current exhibition features the work of American sculptor Fred Sandback. We are currently in the process of expanding our exhibition space with new exhibition facilities slated to open in the next few years. Glenstone is an exciting place to work especially during this transitional period.

As a guide, I am responsible for giving tours of our current exhibition as well as guiding visitors through the landscape to view the outdoor sculpture. I spend a significant amount of time researching the art and artists featured in Glenstone’s collection. I am also working with our Archives and Library Department on several projects that include editing interview transcripts, updating information on our collection database, and organizing archival material. I have also worked with various other departments, giving me an opportunity to grow professionally by learning more about the organization as a whole.

How do you think your Art History major at Mason prepared you for your career?

During my time at George Mason, I cultivated strong relationships with my professors and peers and doing so has continued to serve as a great advantage in the development of my professional career. I focused my studies primarily on Contemporary Art though I chose to enroll in courses covering a wide range of topics including several seminar courses outside of my area of expertise. The seminars helped me learn how to conduct research and compose papers properly which has proven to be an essential skill in the field of Art History outside of the classroom. My professors encouraged me to apply my interest and knowledge of Postwar Art in various other subjects including Impressionism, Defining Authorship, and American Sports History. Exploring subject matter across different genres made each course interesting and challenging which provided me with a well-rounded intellectual experience.

Dr. De Armendi served as a mentor during my time at Mason and I worked under her as a teaching aid and grader in two Art History courses during a summer session. This position ultimately led to an internship at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. During my final year at Mason, I enrolled in a Studio Art course with Professor Elsabe Dixon who suggested I should apply for a position at Glenstone. After completing my internship, I was hired by Glenstone during the last semester of my senior year. With the help of two Mason professors, I have been able to start my career in a field rooted in art history. The faculty at Mason always encouraged me to challenge myself and their constant support allowed me to develop the skills and confidence needed to start a career in the arts.

Why did you choose Art History as a major in the first place?

Growing up in the Washington D.C. area, I spent my childhood visiting the museums on the mall. I fell in love with art at a very young age, though I never imagined the possibility of turning my passion into a career. I enrolled in an Art History course as an elective and found myself devoting more and more of my elective credits to the subject. I changed my major to Art History before transferring to GMU for my final two years of earning a degree. The learning environment at George Mason is exceptional and I am so grateful to have received my education here. The guidance and support provided by the History and Art History faculty allowed me to grow academically and professionally, which thus allowed me to grow as a person.