Lee Glazer, BA Art History ’84, came to Mason at a time when the Fairfax Campus was little more than a cluster of brick buildings tucked into the woods. But that sleepy exterior belied the activity taking place.
“It was a vibrant intellectual community that seemed worlds away from suburban strip malls and subdivisions,” Glazer says. “The [art history] faculty at that time was young—they had been trained by some of the old masters of the discipline, but they also had the benefit of coming of age just as a more socially engaged, more rigorously theorized approach was coming to the fore, so their students got the best of both worlds.”
That ethos of building bridges between worlds followed Glazer all the way to the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler, which she joined in 2007 as curator of American art. Under her helm, she focused on creating exhibitions that showed the links between the American collection and the gallery’s overall identity as an Asian art museum.