Liberal Arts – General Ed
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BA, Vanderbilt University
MA, Ph.D., Tulane University
James Ramsey is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he majored in Art History. At Tulane University he received the MA in Art History and the Ph.D. in Art and Archaeology. As a Samuel K. Kress Fellow, he specialized in Latin American art under Donald Robertson, a pioneer in the field.
Over the years he has cultivated several research interests, beginning with the connection between health and space in the work of early modern designers like Irving Gill in southern California. Among his publications are studies of Mexican folk art and Pre-Hispanic iconography. His analysis of the ancient art of Oaxaca has been recognized as a significant contribution. He has written exhibition catalogues on African art, Pre-Columbian art, Mexican folk art and 19th century architecture. Closer to home, Ramsey has reconstructed the history of major monuments of mid-century design in the Memphis area. He has received three awards for superior performance in research and development.
Ramsey has made 30 trips to Mexico since 1961. He directed the Mexican Study Center in Guanajuato, Mexico, and organized several foreign study experiences for college students. Ramsey has given twenty-five public lectures, including ten on college campuses across the country, covering topics like Diego Rivera’s murals at Chapingo and MCA’s mid-century Rust Hall. At MCA he regularly offers courses like First People: Mexico (ancient to modern art), Modern Architecture I-II, Art and Design in the 1950s, and Art History Survey I.
James Ramsey has served on the Board of the Southeastern College Art Conference, edited the SECAC Review and acted as local host of the 1991 meeting in Memphis. He has represented Tennessee on the Board of the Society of Architectural Historians, Southeast Chapter, of which he was a charter member.