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Dr. Barbara Johnston - Columbus State University

Columbus State University

headshot of Barbara Johnston

Barbara Johnston

Associate Professor

Art, Department of

Education and Certifications

  • BFA - Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BA - Virginia Commonwealth University
  • MA - Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Ph.D. - Florida State University


Barbara J. Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbus State University. She received her Ph.D. from Florida State University and holds a Master's degree in Art History/Museum Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also earned a BA in Art History and a BFA in Communication Arts and Design. Dr. Johnston has held faculty positions at Florida State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the College of William and Mary where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History. She has taught abroad on several occasions including a semester at FSU's London Study Center as well as taking students to Rome, Paris, and London. In addition to her academic positions, Dr. Johnston was on the faculty at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a lecturer for the VMFA's Paul Mellon Arts in Education program. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the College Art Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Southeastern College Art Conference, the Sixteenth Century Studies Society, and Historians of Netherlandish Art. Dr. Johnston has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Appleton Teaching Fellowship and the Penelope Mason Dissertation Fellowship at Florida State University, a research grant from the Renaissance Society of America, and she has received several grants from CSU for faculty development and academic enhancement.

Dr. Johnston teaches a variety of classes at CSU but specializes in European art and architecture of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Previous publications include Baroque Prints: Selections from the Collection of Dorothy and William Walmsley, a catalogue for an exhibition she co-curated for the Florida State University Museum of Art, and "Rubens's Deianira and the Fury: A New Interpretation Based on Seneca's Hercules Oetaeus," which was published in Athanor. Her current research, an outgrowth of her dissertation, centers on the religious and political complexities inherent in the Vie de la Magdalene, a manuscript depicting the life of Mary Magdalene that was created in 1516 for Louise of Savoy, mother of the French king Francis I. Dr. Johnston has presented numerous papers at professional conferences on this topic including at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Venice, Italy in 2010. Her scholarship will be featured in Mary Magdalene: Iconographic Studies from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, an anthology to be published by Brill Publishers in fall of 2012. Dr. Johnston is currently working on several articles on the Magdalene manuscript for submission to peer-review journals as well as preparing her dissertation for publication.

Academic Areas

  • Art History

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