Campus Life

UWF art professor Barbara Larson accepts new role as department chair

The University of West Florida College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities recently welcomed Dr. Barbara Larson as the chair of the Department of Art.

For more than 10 years, Larson has served UWF’s art department, teaching modern art history and its relationship to the history of science, politics and culture. She specializes in the European Symbolist movement and her research is seen as transformative in the field, having been published widely and internationally. She is also a leading scholar in evolutionism and visual culture.

​“The art department has been extremely fortunate to have grown and developed under the guidance of John Markowitz through the past few years,” said Dr. Steven Brown, dean of the UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. “Upon his decision to return to his faculty role, we didn’t have to look far to find a tremendous replacement. Dr. Barbara Larson has outstanding experience within the program, and she is highly regarded regionally, nationally and internationally as an accomplished and highly knowledgeable art historian.

“Her background, both at UWF and within the broader world of art in academia, gives her a tremendous overview of the potential and possibilities within the program,” said Brown.

Larson’s goals include increasing interdepartmental collaboration to focus on STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics – and promoting global outreach by hosting international arts professionals on campus, promoting international travel and increasing exposure to art practice worldwide.

Graduating summa cum laude from Northwestern University, Larson received bachelor’s degrees in art history and anthropology. She also studied art history at New York University, earning a master’s degree as well as a doctorate. She has published three books and many articles.

“Our art program has been one of the College’s most dynamic and fastest growing programs through the past few years under Professor Markowitz’s leadership,” Brown added. “Dr. Larson is poised to extend and expand that growth and development through the coming years.​”

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