Brigitte Mulholland ’07

Brigitte Mulholland ’07

Written by Nataly Cifuentes ’16

Brigitte Mulholland '07

Brigitte Mulholland ’07

Brigitte Mulholland ’07 has built her professional career on her immense passion for art and is now living her dream as the Director of the Jane Kahan Gallery in New York City.

Attracted to Manhattanville’s tight-knit community and beautiful campus, and supported by well-deserved scholarships, Brigitte chose Manhattanville College for her undergraduate studies. Her experience at Manhattanville was a very positive one. She remembers college as a place where she met wonderful people; she keeps in touch with many of them. Not only did she create lasting relationships with fellow students, but she was also greatly influenced by her professors.

Brigitte has always loved art in all its forms, and when she learned that majoring in Art History was a possibility, she decided that it was the perfect path for her. As a freshman at Manhattanville, she took an Italian Renaissance course, her first art history class in college, with Lisa Rafanelli. The course had such an impression on her that she felt sure this was the right career path for her.

“The Art History Department changed my life; through its curriculum I was able to find my passion in life,” she said. Professors Lisa Rafanelli and Megan Cifarelli were two particularly inspiring faculty members who influenced Brigitte through her college career and have remained an important part of her life. “To this day, they have taught me lessons that have stayed with me through life, grad school and work. They have both been real mentors to me, and we still keep in touch.” After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, Brigitte continued her education in the arts by obtaining a Masters in Art History from Hunter College in 2012.

image2Manhattanville also presented Brigitte with opportunities beyond the classroom that helped pave her way to a career in the art world. As a student, she worked as an administrative assistant for the Art History Department. A significant occurrence was when she attended the annual Berger Lecture that featured Jeff Rosenheim, presently the Head of Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as the main speaker. Mr. Rosenheim offered her an internship, through which he became a strong influence in her life.

Brigitte applied for jobs at several galleries in the City after graduation, and after her first interview at the Jane Kahan Gallery, she was hired. She still remembers her first day of work. As she took a walk with one of her co-workers through the gallery, Brigitte’s colleague picked up one of Picasso’s masterpieces very naturally. She elaborated, “I felt a sense of shock and awe in that moment. It is a very magical feeling to be able to handle major works of art by world renowned artists, day in and day out.”

The most challenging part of her career stems from the competitiveness of the field, where numerous qualified people are often “overworked and underpaid.” From the moment she began working for the Jane Kahan Gallery, she has been able to work her way up, and now is the Gallery Director. She shared, “It has definitely been a rewarding, learning experience. Interacting with clients is a big part of my job, and I had to learn how to make sales based on who I am dealing with.”

image1 (1)Overall, she absolutely loves her job. Brigitte said, “I have the opportunity to exhibit and sell incredible pieces of art and meet other art world people who share this passion with me.” In addition, her job involves a lot of traveling, which she has enjoyed to the fullest. Just last year, she was able to visit the south of France, Paris, North Carolina, Miami, and several parts of California. When asked about her future plans, she assured that she wants to keep growing in the art world, to “see more and to learn more.”

Brigitte is incredibly proud of becoming the director of an art gallery. “I have made pretty significant sales, and I’m really proud I got this job, my dream job.” As a recommendation for any students who would like to build their careers within the art world, she stressed how helpful internships are, as well as having a good attitude about any work you do. “I really care about the people I work with, as well as my clients. Truly caring about your work and the people who surround you goes a long way.”

Manhattanville influenced Brigitte’s growth during her college years and had an impact on her not only academically, and personally. Her favorite memories include performing Shakespeare plays in Reid Castle, spending time with everyone in the Art History Department, and running around on the Quad with friends. She reflected, “To me, being a Manhattanville alumna means that I am a part of a great community filled with people I’m still friends with and teachers I’m still close with. Manhattanville is still there for you even after you’ve graduated.”

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