Sarofim School of Fine Arts

Anna Nau (class of 2006)

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    Ms. Nau at Dunnottar Castle, on the west coast of Scotland
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    Inspecting Mission Concepcion in San Antonio

SU Art History major now successful architectural preservationist.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an art history major at SU. Not only did I learn a great deal about a variety of types of art and cultures, but I also developed crucial critical thinking, research and writing skills that proved invaluable in graduate school. Through my art history classes, I realized a passion for studying architecture that has led me to my current career as an architectural historian and historic preservationist.

After graduation and a gap year of work, I enrolled in an architectural history MA program at the University of Virginia, where I concentrated on the history of nineteenth-century American and British architecture. Once in graduate school, I realized just how well prepared I was for the intense amount of research, writing and seminar discussions that my master’s program entailed thanks to my art history degree from SU. After receiving my MA in 2009, I spent a year interning with an architectural firm that specializes in historic preservation and decided to go back to school one more time. In 2010 I moved to Scotland to study architectural conservation at the University of Edinburgh. While completing my MSc in Edinburgh, I was able to not only learn a great deal about my chosen area of study (the conservation of architectural stone), but I was also able to visit and exlpore so many great architectural sites throughout Britain.

I am now putting all of that knowledge about architecture to use as a historical preservationist at Ford, Powell & Carson Architects in my hometown of San Antonio. I am very lucky to be able to work on important historic buildings in Texas, including the Spanish Colonial Missions. I also continue to research and write about various aspects of American and British architectural history. This summer I will be presenting a paper at an academic conference on Gothic Revival Architecture at the University of Kent in England. Studying art history at SU gave me to opportunity to discover my passion for architecture and without the strong foundation in research and writing that my undergraduate degree provided, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”

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