News & Achievements

Congratulations to the Art History and Visual Studies Class of 2015! We are so proud!


Congratulations to Astara Light, recipient of the 2016 Kalman Award for International Heritage Studies!

UVic PhD student in Art History and Visual Studies, Astara Light, has been selected as a recipient of the Kalman Award for International Heritage Studies for 2016. She will be using the award to travel to the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam to research the ways in which the spiritual meanings of Balinese paintings changes when they are taken outside of their original site of creation and placed in a European setting. Her research illustrates key issues surrounding the intersection of art, indigenous practices and colonial and post-colonial studies. As she states: “This research trip will allow me to examine how Indonesian art has circulated to the European nation (the Netherlands) that most closely engaged with Indonesia, as well as how the works are viewed, handled, and presented in a different cultural context.”

Successful completion of the Masters program by Fahime Ghorbani

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Masters by Ms. Fahime Ghorbani in January, 2016. We look forward to seeing your next step in life!


Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards 2015

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies pleased to congratulate three Art History and Visual Studies students in receiving the 2015 JCURA!

  • Jesse York
  • Irina Ridzuan
  • Saromi Kim
We look forward to seeing your projects come to fruition!

Successful completion of the Masters program by Allison Grey-Noble

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Masters by Ms. Allison Grey-Noble in September, 2015. We look forward to seeing all her future endeavors.

Successful completion of the Masters program by Regan Shrumm and Natalie Massong

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Masters by Ms. Regan Shrumm and Ms. Natalie Massong in August, 2015. We look forward to seeing the paths these two talented young women take.

Successful completion of Doctoral program by Melissa Berry

Congratulations on a fantastic performance, Melissa!

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Ph.D by Ms. Melissa Berry in April, 2015. We look forward to seeing her research shine in future publications and presentations.

Congratulations to the AHVS Graduates of 2015

We celebrate your achievements and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Congratulations to Lesley Jessop

We are delighted to share the news that Lesley Jessop will be Associate Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, 2015-2016.

Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards 2015

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is represented in the upcoming JCURA Research Fair Wednesday, March 4, by three Art History and Visual Studies students:

Successful completion of Doctoral program by Jamie Kemp

Congratulations on a superb performance, Jamie!

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Ph.D by Ms. Jamie Kemp on December 5, 2014. Her work on illustrated copies of Bartholomeus Anglicus’s encyclopedia produced in France during the fifteenth century was an outstanding success. We look forward to seeing the results of her research in publications and future presentations.


Master's students awarded SSHRCs

The Art History and Visual Studies department is proud to announce that Natalie Massong and Regan Shrumm have been awarded each a Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (via SSHRC).


Arts & Cultures of World War I

To mark the centenary of the commencement of the War Dr. Marcus Milwright from our Department of Art History and Visual Studies is organizing two events:

Exhibition at Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre - McPherson Library)
(7 November 2014 - 2 March 2015)

Lecture Series - Held in David Strong Bldg C118 4:30-6:00 pm
(2 October - 27 November 2014)

  • Thursday October 2, 2014
    Martin Bunton, Department of History
    World War One and the Remaking of the Modern Middle East
  • Thursday October 16, 2014
    Allan Antliff, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    Revolutionary Violence and the War against War I
  • Matthew Adams, Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Victoria
    The contraty Experience: Herbert Read and the Cultural Memory of the First World War
  • Thursday October 30, 2014
    Mitch Parry, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    The First World War in Film
  • Thursday November 13, 2014
    Lisa Cooper, Department of Classical, Near Eastern adn Religious Studies, University of British Columbia
    Daughter of Empires: The Archaeological and Political Activities of Gertrude Bell in Mesopotamia, 1909-1926
    This lecture is sponsored by the University of Victoria branch of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Conortium of British Columbia (MEICON).
  • Thursday November 27, 2014
    Evanthia Baboula, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    From Ithaca to Number 31328: Greek Literature of the First World War

A new name for our Department!

As of May 2014, we have a new name for our unit: Department of Art History & Visual Studies. The former name, History in Art, was created in the late 1960s by Professor Alan Gowans who was an early pioneer in material culture/visual studies. He believed that all visual art was worthy of study, whether it was an iconic masterpiece, a famous building, or an exquisite textile from long ago. We are renewing our curriculum, with a focus on areas like Visual Studies, Film, Material Culture and Museum Studies, and World Art. Stay tuned for the new direction and expanded possibilities for our students.

History in Art Graduate Student Co-curating exhibition at the Legacy Art Gallery

Featuring Christian Orthodox icons and crucifixes from the Legacy permanent collection, this exhibition examines religious, historical, and cultural meanings past and present. Co-curated by Regan Shrumm (graduate student) and Dr. Evanthia Baboula, (Assistant Professor, History in Art)

2013 Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal awarded to History in Art graduate

The department of History in Art is proud to announce that Erin Wallace, one of our 2013 Master’s graduates, has been awarded the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal (Other than Thesis) for outstanding project or extended essay, “Making Space, Speak: Performing violence in Gordon Matta-Clark’s Window Blowout”.


History in Art Doctoral Candidate awarded the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship

History in Art's doctoral candidate Brian Pollick is a recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship (2013-16). His dissertation focuses on merchants in Trecento Italy who used images to help negotiate their place in society, in a Christian context that deeply mistrusted the impact of money, wealth and commerce. He is studying the Palazzo Datini in Prato, as one of the case studies of his dissertation; this merchant's palace is one of the best-preserved late medieval spaces in Tuscany.


New publication for Dr. Allan Antliff

Dr. Allan Antliff is pleased to announce the publication of his new book, Joseph Beuys (published by Phaidon).

Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) – sculptor, painter, draughtsman, teacher, theorist and political activist – ranks among the most radicaland influential artists to emerge during the second half of the twentieth century. An enigmatic figure whose complex imagination drew on his research across awide range of themes – including mythology, zoology, botany and the spiritual theories of Rudolf Steiner – Beuys strove to establish a truly democratic approach towards artistic creativity, and prove that modern art need not be confined to the museum or the gallery.

For more information on Joseph Beuys, you can see:

  1. Why Joseph Beuys and his dead hare live on -
  2. How Joseph Beuys went from artist to philosopher -

Dr. Antliff has also edited a special 'anarchism in print' issue of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies.


Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards 2014

The Department of History in Art was represented at the JCURA Research Fair this month by three History in Art students:


Big Button Blanket at Adasla

The Big Button Blanket was exhibited once more during another performance held at the Legacy Art Gallery, in downtown Victoria. This featured a special contemporary performance collaboration between Governor General’s Award winning performance artist Rebecca Belmore—a former Audain professor for the Department of Visual Arts—and blanket co-creator, Tahtan Nation artist Peter Morin.


Visual Impetus XVII - Graduate student organized symposium
The annual History in Art graduate student symposium Visual Impetus is returning for its impressive 17th year, January 24th & 25th. The weekend-long seminar will be held in the centrally located Legacy Art Gallery in downtown Victoria. Take in a presentation or two and at the same time come check out the The Big Button Blanket, courtesy if Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer and Peter Morin (learn more). You can find out about the presentations here.


 CBC interview - The Big Button Blanket project
Jo-Ann Roberts host of All Points West, CBC Radio One'sprovincialafternoonshowserving British Columbia, interviewed artist Peter Morin regarding The Big Button Blanket project. This project was offered as a course at the University of Victoria, under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer, Assistant Profesor Williams Legacy Chair.
Photo credit: Michael Glendale


Dr. Evanthia Baboula offers Jewish art course in Spring 2014
History in Art's Dr. Evanthia Baboula was interviewed by Vancouver's Jewish Independent newspaper in December. She's talking about her new course on Jewish art—the first of its kind in Canada!—that kicks off this semester.


 Now that’s a big blanket!
History in Art professor Carolyn Butler-Palmer and her students have been busy creating the world’s biggest button blanket this fall. The Big Button Blanket project was recently profiled in the Times Colonist in a UVic knowlEDGE piece and will be part of a feature exhibit at UVic’s Legacy Galleries Downtown in early 2014.

 The art of eating

History in Art alumna Lindsay Anderson was featured in the fall issue of the UVic alumni magazine The Torch for her work as both a busy food writer and the official food blogger for the City of Richmond.

Jewish art course a Canadian first
History in Art professor Eva Baboula has created Canada’s first university course focused solely on Jewish art.

Visiting scholars

History in Art, Medieval Studies and the Middle East & Islamic Consortium welcomed a pair of guest scholars in October, Langara College’s Dr. Niall Christie and Bernard O’Kane.

Faculty Research Symposium

With a focus on “Contemporaneity Then and Now”, the 9th Annual History in Art Faculty Research Symposium offered an interdisciplinary lineup of speakers from both in and beyond the Fine Arts faculty.

 Undergrad wins prize

History in Art Honours student Regan Shrumm was named winner of the 2013 Victoria Medal—awarded annually to the student with the highest GPA in the Faculty of Fine Arts.


 Dr. Erin Campbell's new publication

Adopting a broad chronological framework and expanding the regional scope beyond Florence and Venice to include domestic interiors from less studied centers such as Urbino, Ferrara, and Bologna, this collection offers new perspectives on the home in early modern Italy. The volume’s dual emphasis is on reconstructing the material culture of specific residences, and on how particular domestic objects reflect, shape, and mediate family values and relationships within the home.



Jamie Kemp flips the classroom

History in Art instructor and PhD candidate Jamie Kemp is featured in the July Martlet article "Flipping the Classroom". “Flipping the classroom, to me, is just simply a movement to push the initial delivery of information and content out of the classroom and online,” explains Kemp. “The beauty of that is that you’re able to spend your class time doing more interactive things, so really applying knowledge and engaging with the course content in a more dynamic way.”


Susan Hawkins talks science & popular culture

How does quantum theory play into art and popular culture? Find out when History in Art instructor Susan Hawkins talks with CFAX radio's Adam Sawatsky in this podcast from his Eye on the Arts show in July.


Regan Shrumm earns top marks

History in Art undergraduate student Regan Shrumm earned the top GPA in all of Fine Arts this year. Read about her past and present curatorial work, and future plans as a returning


Sampling Core Samples

Downtown's Legacy Gallery looks at the first 20 years of the Visual Arts department with their new exhibit, Core Samples. Get the story on our blog and read what Times Colonist art reviewer Robert Amos has to say about "this carefully chosen and installed exhibition" in this article.


Marcus Milwright wins Craigdarroch

History in Art professor Marcus Milwright was honoured with UVic's Craigdarroch Silver Medal for Excellence in Research this spring. Milwright's award is only the third time the Craigdarroch has been presented to Fine Arts, alongside Lorna Crozier and the Lafayette String Quartet.


UVAC highlights Karl Spreitz's films

The short film archive of Karl Spreitz is now part of the UVic Art Collection. Among the films are studio visits with the likes of Maxwell Bates and Myfanwy Pavelic, which are highlighted in this Times Colonist article.


Liz Charsley-Jory now artist-in-residence

History in Art (and Theatre) alumna Liz Charsley-Jory is the first Canadian artist-in-residence at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery. Her show Bright Land: West of the Rockies, South of the Thames ran there this spring. Dulwich also has a major show in the works about Emily Carr in 2014.



It's the 5th annual Middle East & Islamic Consortium of BC conference, running March 21-23 at UVic. A collaboration between faculty and students of UVic, SFU and UBC, MEICON kicks off with a keynote presentation of “Representations of Muslim Women: Image and Reality” on March 21 (7pm HSD A240), followed by a full-day faculty symposium focusing on Canada’s contributions to Middle Eastern and Islamic studies—including two sessions on Islamic art and archaeology—on March 22 in the University Club, and a student conference on March 23 in ECS 125.


History in Art at IdeaFest

If you missed the IdeaFest Creativity panel featuring History in Art's Victoria Wyatt—alongside colleagues Jennifer Stillwell (Visual Arts), Lee Henderson (Writing) and George Tzanetakis and Jonathan Goldman (Music)


History in Art at JCURA

Fine Arts had 10 students represented at the annual spring Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards this year, including History in Art's Sara Fruchtman, Alexandra Macdonald and Christine Oldridge. Also presenting this year were Stewart Gibbs, Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Taylor (Theatre), Bronwyn McMillin and Willie Seo (Visual Arts), plus Claire Garneau and Liz Snell (Writing).


Stories of Gold

UVic hosted the 26th Annual Medieval Workshop this spring, with Stories of Gold as the title and focus. It was the Medieval Studies Program's way of helping UVic celebrate our golden anniversary while also exploring the many roles of gold within Medieval society.


Visual Impetus XVI

The annual History in Art graduate student symposium Visual Impetus returned for its impressive 16th year this January. The weekend-long seminar was held in the Fine Arts building and you can find out about the presentations here.


New Program: Minor in History in Art

If you are enrolled in another UVic undergraduate program you can combine it with a Minor in History in Art.

Based on the following pattern, you can design a set of courses that complement your area of study.  The Minor in History in Art will help you understand comparative visual cultural traditions in a world-minded way within your main disciplines.

Students wishing to declare a Minor in History in Art should contact the Advising Centre for their faculty.

To obtain a History in Art Minor, students are required to complete successfully:

1.5 units of HA 120
1.5 units of HA 121
3.0 units – HA 200 level
9.0 units – HA 300/400 level
For a total of 15.0 units

Courses taken for the Minor cannot be used to complete requirements for a Major or Honours Program. 


Three History in Art students participating in the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Award Research Fair

JCURA award winners are preparing for their participation in the upcoming research fair. Please come and support your fellow students as they have worked hard on their projects. You can view their abstracts here.

Award Winners:
Sara Fruchtman
Alexandra MacDonald
Christine Oldridge

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2013
  • 11:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Michele Pujol Room, Cinecenta and Upper Lounge at the SUB


26th Annual Medieval Workshop:
Stories of Gold

Saturday February 9, 2013
The Bob Wright Centre Room B150

Faculty Coordinator:
Dr. Marcus Milwright,
Director, Medieval Studies Program

Gold has been prized by humans for thousands of years. One of the few metals to occur in its pure form on the surface of the earth, gold is a remarkably malleable material that can be formed into any shape. To celebrate the fiftieth (golden) anniversary of the University of Victoria, we have chosen to explore the many roles of this rare and beautiful metal within Medieval society. Gold was used for sacred purposes ranging from reliquaries and liturgical items to the ornamentation of buildings and manuscripts with gold leaf. The metal had a central role in economic life, with gold coins circulating across the known world. There are also metaphorical dimensions of gold; these include the Medieval bestseller, the Golden Legend, and the pervasive concept of lost “Golden Ages.” We hope to bring you a workshop that is worth its weight in gold!


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