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Greetings, Ann Mayo here, Smith graduate from 1983. I did not think I would ever have a job in the field in which I majored: Art History. Happily I eventually found myself working at the Smith College Museum of Art. Currently, I am Manager of Security and Guest Services there.
A New York City summer is intrinsically special, and is the season for which I yearn annually. Unbridled humidity permeates crowded subway cars as couples lounge hand-in-hand in the parks. Mister Softee trucks are ubiquitous and a plethora of languages fill the streets.
I’ve always been interested in intersecting art forms. I grew up training in classical ballet, flamenco, and other styles of dance in my hometown of Memphis, TN. At the same time, I took lessons in a variety of instruments and experimented in different genres of music. I entered Smith planning on becoming a dance major but soon realized it was time for me to pursue a new area in the arts. I took as many art history courses as humanly possible while continuing to dance on the side.
For any fan of 19th century American art, this internship was a dream come true. I was tasked with writing wall labels for the new 19th century American art installation at the SCMA. When visitors will walk into the galleries for the next few years, my words upon the wall will help guide them along. No pressure! My very first task was to write a label for a painting by Albert Bierstadt, Landscape in the Bahamas (ca. 1877–mid-1880s).
Although I’ve been working with art for many years now, it is still a magical experience for me to hold an original work of art in my hands. At the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, which I manage, I work every day with original art. I feel blessed because art has always been therapeutic for me. When days get hectic or I feel stressed, I can walk into our storage and look at some works I particularly love and always come away feeling much better.
The Tryon Prizes for Writing and Art, 2020
Each year, two juries award monetary prizes to current Smith students for outstanding writing and art related to the collection at the Smith College Museum of Art. Writing may take any form, including a thesis, essay or poem. Art submissions may be an installation, performance, video, sound, digital, internet, and interactive art. Jurors seek a high level of artistic expression and presentation.
"Fukagawa Susaki Jūmantsubo”: ukiyo-e culture, viewing the city of Edo, and the emergence of commercial art in the time of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Guest blogger Hannah Goeselt is a former Cunningham Study Center student assistant, Art History Major, and a graduate of the Class of 2020.