George Mason University began as a tiny branch college of the University of Virginia in a humble eight-room elementary school with 17 students in September 1957. It has four campuses throughout Northern Virginia in Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and it’s main campus in Fairfax. The range of architecture at each campus varies, but on the whole George Mason University has embraced a modern aesthetic. The fine arts galleries are housed in the Johnson Center. George Mason’s flagship student learning center, the George W. Johnson Center, was named for George Mason University’s president of 18 years. The first building of its kind on an American campus, it was designed to be the hub of campus - sometimes dubbed the “New Quad” - and has a unique, multifaceted mission: to provide students with a total learning experience through interaction with books, technology, peers, faculty, and staff.
New to George Mason's campus is the George Mason Plaster Casts Collection comprised of approximately 60 pieces of sculpture. Originally purchased between 1880 and 1900 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the plaster casts are copies of master artwork from the greatmuseums of Europe and include multiple examples of sculpture from figures in the round to architectural reliefs.
By 1930, changes in the Metropolitan Museum's acquisition priorities began to focus on sculpture produced by the hands of the artist and pushed 2,600 plaster casts into storage. Arriving on campus between 2003 and 2005, the plaster casts are to be gifted to the Univeristy and housed in multiple buildings on campus.
George Mason University’s Fine Arts Gallery website includes information about past shows from 2005 to all the way back to 1998. Each page presents the participating artists, exhibition dates and a summary about the subject matter of the exhibition. The website also has upcoming and current shows displayed with showcase and artists. The website is well thought-out, presenting information in an organized and accessible fashion. George Mason’s center for the arts provides people with family friendly performances, in order to reach out to the local community.
(above) The Barberini Faun, is now located in George Mason University's College Hall.
(left) The Fine Arts Gallery inside the School of the Arts.
Kehinde Odusanya, ShannonRanson, & Sharayah Cochran