- » Dr James Yarnall
Dr James Yarnall
Academic Department: Art and Art History
- B.A. in French language and literature, Stonehill College (1974)
- M.A. in art history, University of Chicago (1976)
- Ph.D. in art history, University of Chicago (1981)
My biographical and critical study of the American 19th-century artist John La Farge was published in February 2012 by Ashgate Publishing Ltd. My career-long research into this artist is ongoing, with special emphasis on his stained glass. As one aspect of this, I have been researching the patrons of his windows, along with the artisans and other artistic personalities who worked in La Farge's studio throughout the artist's long career. La Farge's stained glass will be the subject of my next book, written in collaboration with Julie L. Sloan, a stained glass restoration specialist. Another ongoing project involves collecting documentation on the art, architecture and cultural history of Aquidneck Island, with special focus on Portsmouth and Middletown. This has resulted in a number of articles published between 2007 and 2011 in Newport History, the journal of the Newport Historical Society, for which I serve as editor. I also hope to follow up on my 2005 book "Newport Through Its Architecture: A History of Styles from Postmedieval to Postmodern" by publishing a tome studying in greater depth the work of about a dozen architects who were most active on Aquidneck Island during the 19th century.
My firsthand experience of European art and architecture during my junior year abroad in Paris transformed my life, leading me to pursue a Ph.D. in art history after college. During my yearlong sojourn abroad, I learned to look at fine arts, decorative arts and architecture in an informed way that encompasses cultural, historical and stylistic analyses. My life since college has been divided between museum work and university teaching of art history. In both arenas, I have striven to continue my voyage of visual discovery on both local and global levels, and to help others experience the world of art and architecture in the same visceral, exciting way. My lifelong love of writing also found an outlet in art history, and in my prolific writings I seek to present interesting information in an intelligible manner devoid of jargon or abstruse theory, all the while employing careful scholarship and thorough documentation. Such global lifelong learning imparted to others through publications fulfills Salve Regina's mission, but it more importantly fulfills my personal ambitions as a scholar and human being. My future goals include furthering my own scholarship while fostering the skills and talents of students by teaching them to research and write at a professional level in the fields of art and architectural history.