Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Sara James

photo of Sara James

Sara N. James, Professor Emerita of Art History at Mary Baldwin University, combines her passion for art, architecture, and gardens with her sense of adventure and love of travel. She specializes in Italian Renaissance art with a particular passion for narrative fresco programs. However, over her 30-year teaching career, Sara has taught courses in Renaissance (Italian and Northern), Baroque, Greek, Roman, Medieval, and English art and architecture, as well as interdisciplinary honors courses. She also served as director of the Renaissance Studies Abroad Program, teaching students on site in Italy and Northern Europe. An avid gardener and garden lover, she is a certified Master Gardener and a member of the Garden Club of Virginia and the Garden Club of America. Her publications include two books: Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy, Poetry and a Vision of the End-time (Ashgate, 2003) and Art in England from the Saxons to the Tudors: 600-1600 (Oxbow/Casemate, 2016) and numerous chapters, articles, and reviews. Her frequent speaking engagements include the Renaissance Society of America, the College Art Association, the Chief Executives Organization, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sara holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Virginia. She has spent three sabbaticals at the American Academy in Rome and one at the Paul Mellon Centre in London. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and currently serves on the faculty of the OLLI life learning program at the University of Virginia.

Upcoming Tours

Italy’s Amalfi Coast

9 days | Starting at: $4,590
Apr 21, 2021 - Apr 29, 2021

A One-Week Stay in Vietri sul Mare
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Palermo and Taormina

10 days | Starting at: $5,290
Oct 27, 2021 - Nov 5, 2021

A Stay in Sicily
Tour Details ››