College of Visual & Performing Arts
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- Waldron College of Health and Human Services
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Dr. Steve Arbury
Director of the RU Art Museum, Professor
B.A., magna cum laude (Spanish and Psychology),
M.A., (Art History), Rutgers University
Ph.D., (Art History), Rutgers University
I teach art history and art appreciation, and I am also the Director of the Radford University Art Museum.
My higher education began at a small private college where I majored in psychology and Spanish. I spent my Junior year abroad in Spain. After taking my first art history course there, I soon realized that I liked art history better than psychology. After graduating, I began graduate studies in art history. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on Spanish catafalques, which were large multistory structures erected in a church to commemorate the death of an important person. I was fortunate to receive a Fulbright Scholarship that allowed me to conduct research on catafalques in Spain. I loved living in Spain, and I ended up staying there for three years. But then I decided it was time to enter the "real world," so I returned to the States and landed a job curating the slide collection and teaching art history at Roanoke College. I remained there for four years, and then I came to Radford University. I like the emphasis on teaching and students here at RU, and I like living in the Blue Ridge Mountain region. It's the perfect place for some of my outside interests.
I think the reason why I like art history so much is because it encompasses virtually all fields of knowledge. Social history, religion, philosophical thought, science, technological developments, mathematics, economics, and politics all come into play when discussing the history of art.
In addition to teaching and directing the Art Museum, I serve on various committees. I remain active in my field by participating in professional conferences, and I have published articles in dictionaries, journals, and exhibition catalogs. I also organize an annual international conference on the visual and performing arts in Athens, Greece.