MA Student Virginia Moore Launches New Art History Podcast

Born and raised in Virginia, Art History MA student Virginia Moore recently created Ceci n’est pas un Podcast as the final project for her Fabricating Rome class. The aim of the podcast is to explore the current state of art and art history. Virginia holds a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Moore

Virginia Moore

Tell us about your background.
My mother, the guest of my most recent podcast episode, is an artist, so I was exposed to the arts from a very young age. I was 15 years old when I took my first art history class in high school, and that is when things really started to take shape for me. That is a formidable young age to be exposed to a different way to view the world and it opened a huge realm of reality for me. It honed my critical thinking skills and made me dig deeper beneath the surface in everything I do. I was very fortunate that part of the class was a weeklong spring break trip to Italy (Rome, Florence, and Venice).

What made you decide to pursue an MA in Art History in Rome?
As I approached the end of my undergraduate studies at VCU, I had no idea what direction to go in. I had recently finished my senior thesis on urban development in Rome in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. On a whim, I decided to reach out to one of the authors of one of my main sources, Professor Ingrid Rowland, an American art historian who lives in Rome. To my surprise, she responded and pointed me in the direction of this Art History MA program at JCU. That was a month before the application deadline, so I scrambled to gather all the materials that I needed and it happened very quickly from there.

Tell us about your Ceci n’est pas un Podcast project. How did you get the idea?
Podcasting happens to be my favorite form of media. I find that it can be an effective method of creating accessibility and insight into areas that are often gatekept. The idea for this podcast began as a joke between me and one of my friends at VCU. We wanted to build this approachable, yet informative and entertaining platform to create a dialogue between art and the rest of the world. During the first semester of my MA in Professor Cornelia Lauf’s Fabricating Rome class, it all came rushing back to me when she assigned a rather open-ended final project for us. The ability to enjoy one’s surroundings in spaces that relate to art and art history is sometimes guarded by people who are considered experts in these fields. I think it is important to acknowledge what we have and share the wealth of knowledge we have been given.

I would be remiss not to give thanks to Professor Lauf and her Fabricating Rome course, and the master’s program for giving me the opportunity to begin this project in the first place. It had been in the back of my mind for so long and I am happy it finally came to fruition.

In the first episode, you talk about the MA course having an entrepreneurial aspect to it. What is the importance of entrepreneurship and marketing in relation to art?
Art and its related industries can hardly prosper without a spirit of entrepreneurialism. I believe that art conveys an important story in nearly every case and every story deserves to be told. Often, we need to get creative with how we go about this. For those of us who study art history and humanities, career options can seem limiting, but I believe the possibilities can be limitless if we get creative and advocate for ourselves. Entrepreneurialism is one of the few ways out of that, and I encourage other art history majors to think outside the box. Try and broaden your experience with various internships and diversify your skillset as much as possible

What are your plans for the future?
At the beginning of my MA, I thought that continuing into academia would be my path, but I am realizing rather quickly that it is no longer true. What I have realized is that I have more options than I once thought. I am currently in the process of obtaining my appraiser’s license and am excited for the possibilities that it will bring. I plan on spending the remaining year of my master’s program figuring out the next steps and I am very excited about it.