About

We are a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art, and a community of scholars dedicated to collaboration and exchange.

© James F. Wilson
The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices at The University of Texas at Dallas (left) and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art (right).
The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices at The University of Texas at Dallas (top) and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art (bottom).

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art. Research and teaching at the O’Donnell Institute embrace a global history of art that ranges across geography, chronology, and medium. The first art history research institute founded in the digital age, the O’Donnell Institute explores in particular the intersection between the visual arts and the sciences and technology.

As a center for the growing community of art historians, curators, and practicing artists in Dallas and Fort Worth, we are dedicated to intellectual creativity, exchange, and collaboration in the form of lectures and symposia, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations with area institutions.

History

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History was founded at The University of Texas at Dallas in Fall 2014 with a generous endowment from arts patron Edith O’Donnell. Dr. Richard Brettell is the Founding Director.

In our first two years, the O’Donnell Institute appointed a Distinguished Chair in Conservation Science, made a joint appointment with the Dallas Museum of Art in Islamic Art, completed construction of offices at UT Dallas and the DMA, convened research fellows to pursue projects ranging from Byzantine icons to the landscapes of Courbet, and collaborated with partner institutions to present symposia, exhibitions, and publications.

Over the next two academic years we will appoint two more Distinguished Chairs, launch a new Master’s program in art history, develop partnerships with institutions in Dallas-Fort Worth and farther afield, welcome the gift of an art history research library comprising over 400,000 volumes, and continue to engage with area museums, collections, and art historians to create programs and partnerships dedicated to advancing research in the history of art.

We invite you to participate in our upcoming public programs.

Offices

The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices designed by Cunningham Architects at The University of Texas at Dallas and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art designed by Buchanan Architecture.

Both spaces display artworks by contemporary artists including Gabriel Dawe, Stephen Lapthisophon, John Pomara, Ludwig Schwarz, and John Wilcox.

Together, UT Dallas and the DMA offer outstanding resources for research, teaching, and collaboration, and are equipped with state-of-the-art conservation equipment and digital art history research tools.

Donors

The O’Donnell Institute was founded in 2014 through an extraordinary lead gift from Mrs. Edith O’Donnell. Mrs. O’Donnell is joined by other individuals and institutions whose generosity and energy support our work.

To see the list of our generous donors, click here.