James Baker received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1959 from Providence College. He went on to receive Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1965 and 1973 respectively. Throughout his 37 year career at the college, Professor Baker taught courses in Drawing, Painting, and Conceptual Art. He was awarded numerous Faculty Research Grants during his tenure, and was also awarded an Individual Painting Fellowship by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. He has exhibited his work in shows throughout New England and was the subject of a 30 Year Retrospective at the Newport Art Museum in 1999. In addition to their display in temporary exhibitions, his works are also featured in many prominent collections including The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, The Newport Art Museum, and The Blue Cross/Blue Shield Collection of 20th Century American Art. His research interests range from Art Nouveau tiles to the work of the 20th Century Conceptual Artist Joseph Beuys, works of whose he curated at The Newport Art Museum in 1996.