Dr. Sara Nair James

Welcome to My Web Page! 

Ape Reading in the Library of Antonio Alberi at OrvietoHow to Find Me:

Department:   Art and Art History

E-mail:  sjames@mbc.edu (the best way to reach me)

Mailing address: Deming Fine Arts Building, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA 24401 USA

Office Location:  Chris House 102, 233 Sycamore Street.   (2 doors toward Coalter from MBC Campus Security Office)

Office Phone: (540) 887.7195     Deming Fine Arts Fax: (540) 887-7139

Office Hours:  Deming 202:  TTh: 10:45-11:15 and 2:40-3:30                                        Chris House 102:  MW 2:30-3:30  and by appointment

Classroom: Art History classes are normally taught in Deming Fine Arts Building, Room 105, but sometimes my classes are in the Academic Building (such as INT213), so check your class on the college course offerings schedule, MyMbc, or Blackboard.

Who I am:  I am Professor of Art History at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia,  located in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley.  I am also an active scholar in Italian Renaissance art history. My book, Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy Poetry and a Vision of the Endtime (Aldershot,UK/Burlington,VT, Ashgate Publishing, 2003) is available on the publisher’s website and from Amazon.  I’ve also published chapters, articles, and book reviews, and presented papers  at scholarly conferences on Luca Signorelli, Giorgio Vasari, Cardinal Wolsey, various narrative painting cycles in Orvieto, Italian Renaissance Art, and Medieval-Renaissance English Art.

What I teach:The beauties of teaching in a small liberal arts college are many. I am able to get to know my students and be their advocate for jobs or graduate school when they need it.  I am able to teach broadly: Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Cathedrals, Italian Renaissance Art, Northern Renaissance painting,  Baroque Art and Architecture (Seventeenth Century in Europe). I also teach more focused colloquia on various periods (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance) as well as on Michelangelo and the City of Rome.

559162_692105294136362_2012639869_nWhy Study Art History and the Liberal Arts? The Liberal Arts, regardless of your field of study, prepare you for life, improve the quality of your life, broaden your horizons, and open doors for you. They teach you to read, write, and think, to form your own informed opinions. A liberal education is the heart of a democratic republic: you must have an educated populus for democracy to work.  For my letter of October 7, 2013  to the editor of the Roanoke Times defending the liberal arts, click on the link. For another point of view, here’s a great article about the value of the English major, which applies to all majors in the liberal arts.

Plan Ahead!!  May Term in Italy 2015

Canal in VeniceI offer an exciting Studies Abroad Course in our May Term, which runs from  late April through mid-May. For May Term 2015, I am offering ARTH 343: Renaissance Studies in Italy. Students apply through the Spencer Center.  You need to have a strong background in art history so you can appreciate what we see.  Prerequisite Courses are available, especially in the spring semester preceding the trip.  Follow the link to my web page on May Term for more information. This course will not be available in May Term 2014.

I’ve maintained a  website since 2000.  I use this web page for information, announcements, resources, and other communications.  I also use Blackboard for detailed  information on my courses, including posted readings, assignments, and syllabi.