This spring marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of Villanova's Art History major. Professor Emeritus George T. Radan was instrumental in the establishment of the major. At first, the major was housed in the Art and Art History Department, on the second floor of St. Augustine Center. Since 1998, the major (and now, the Art History Program) have been housed in the History Department, on the fourth floor of St. Augustine Center. Since 1992, an art history minor has also been instituted, and there is now an average of 20 to 25 art history majors and minors in the program in any given year, and an average of 5 majors graduating from the program each year. Our majors have gone on to careers in teaching (at such schools as Kutztown University and Rutgers University), and in museum work (at such institutions as the Seattle Museum of Art). They have also found positions in auction houses both here and abroad (among them Sotheby's and Christie's).
The Pennsylvania Abolition Society awarded our graduate program $3000 to support our graduate students working on a history of the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY) during the Civil War. The premier school for black youth, the ICY opened in
Philadelphia in 1837 and after moving out of the city was renamed Cheyney University in the early 20th century. The grant will support the research of Michael Johnson (and two other as yet unnamed graduate students) this summer and next year to plan and design an on-line exhibit celebrating the civil rights history of the school.
Eight Villanovans participated at this year’s Phi Alpha Theta Pennsylvania East Regional conference at Bloomsburg University in April. Phi Alpha Theta is the national history honors society, and the annual conference provides history and art history students with an opportunity to present their own research and to hear what their peers at neighboring institutions are working on.
The Villanova students who presented papers included Matthew Albertson ('Cries in the Wilderness: Quaker Slavery and Abolition, 1688-1780'), Clara Candalor ('Anarchy, Revolution, and Bolshevism: the Evolution of the Russian Revolution According to American and British Newspapers, 1881-1918'), David DeLand ('Class, Stigma, and Survival: the Potato in Industrial Revolution London'), Abigail Gagis ('NOT a Hopeless Cause'), John Haffey ('A Matter Between Friends': Makarios, Eisenhower, and the Cyprus Question'), Alexander Kersten ('War and Peace: a Historiography of the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 and the Culture Surrounding It'), Re' Kleinbard (Matilda Jones: Seeking Freedom Amidst Strife and a Slave Family Separated in Virginia'), Doug MacGillivray ('Life After Little Round Top: What Happened to the 20th Maine Volunteer Regiment?').
All of the presentations were of a high standard and our students represented Villanova, and the university's Phi Alpha Theta Chapter (Tau Phi) well. Additionally, another of our students, Nina Friel, won a best paper prize for her work ('Mary Kingsley: Society, Gender, and the Spirit of Adventure').
Congradulations to all of our students!
On April 25, 2014, the Art History Program held its annual public presentation of the Art History majors' senior theses. Seniors Sarah Dunbar, Kathryn Fogarty, Rachel Godat, Gabe Molina, Elizabeth Morris, Thomas Morriss, Elisabeth Puglisi, and Jessica Zienkowski each made 20-minute presentations about their research and writing, and each answered questions from an audience of about 50 people that included friends, family, faculty, and fellow students. The event took place in Bartley Hall, and included refreshments for all presenters and attendees.
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