Bakersfield College’s art history professor, Nancy Magner, is retiring at the end of this semester. Magner has been a professor at BC for 27 years, beginning her time back in 1989.“Iretire in 47 days, but who’s counting?” joked Magner. “Ididn’t know what an art historian did, but Iknew what Iwanted to do from the time Iwas in third grade.”
Magner said she was one of the “lucky people” because she always knew what she wanted to do.
“As a kid, Ihad this collection of brown books, and every year growing up, my parents would take me to Cuba, and I’d read them the entire trip to Cuba, and the entire trip back,” she said. “They were art history, and Ididn’t even know it.”
Despite always loving art history, Magner didn’t always want to be a professor. Instead she wanted to work as a curator in an art museum.“Back when Iwas in grad school, Iwas a TA in this class and someone told me that Ishould go into teaching. But Iwas sure museum work was what I wanted to do, and you know that’s what Iwent on to do as a museum curator. “But then Istarted teaching on the side after working in a museum, and Ijust loved it, so now that’s what Ido full time, and Ireally do just love it.”Magner said that it is her students who make her love teaching.“It’s the students that stand out,” she said. “Ihad one student about five years ago that now teaches art history in L.A., and she had a book that she dedicated to me, and she still talks to me and keeps in touch, and that’s the wonderful thing about teaching, seeing those students who went on to have a career in this field, come back to visit with their children.”
After her retirement, Magner wants to travel all over the world (a lot of which she’s already done), and her immediate plans for the summer are to travel Europe again.
Magner is returning to Italy, where her daughter was born and where she still has some friends from when she used to live there.
“Ilove to see different cultures and you know, experience the whole thing,” she said.
This summer, some of her plans consist of traveling through the Scandinavian countries, Russia, Germany, France and Italy.