Emily J. Hanson, MA

Emily J. Hanson, an art historian and educator, is the first graduate teaching assistant for the AUC Collective. She had the honor of serving a similar role in the AUC Collective’s Early College Program in Summer 2020. Hanson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also earned her M.A., with a specialization in Italian Art, 1300-1700. She is currently completing her dissertation on the greatest unfinished project of Leonardo da Vinci’s career, a colossal bronze equestrian monument for the Sforza in Milan. Her methodology employs a novel classification system for primary and early secondary source materials. More broadly, this kind of analysis helps us see what influenced the construction of the art historical canon and consider the changing role and status of the artist over time.

Hanson is a first-generation college student who seeks to make the path to higher education and post-graduate success more accessible for underrepresented students. She was a student of art history and museum studies at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, where she learned of the power of single-sex education for women. She won the senior prize for best paper in art history and as her senior capstone in museum studies she curated an exhibition that celebrated the many women instrumental to the foundation of a remarkable teaching collection.

In addition to serving in many roles at the Maier Museum of Art, Hanson has also interned in Museum Education and the Curatorial Department of the Saint Louis Art Museum. She has taught as the instructor of record at Washington University, Wright State University, and Randolph College, including four intensive summer seminars on Italian art held in Italy. Hanson loves working with practicing artists and has published catalog entries on seven contemporary artists on the occasion of their MFA exhibitions. She has presented widely at conferences, as well as for broader audiences. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and collaborator, with interests in art as it intersected with politics in the early 20th century as well as Film & Media Studies.

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