UT Dallas

Davidow Collection

At the UT Dallas School of Management Building and the Erik Jonsson Academic Center.


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The collection features works collected by Joan Davidow over a 20-year period by emerging and mid-career Texas artists whose themes and methods reflect the budding technology of our era.

Dallas collector and educator Joan Davidow has made it her life’s work to teach contemporary art to all who will listen. This passion for her field – and for Texas artists – has culminated in a transformative gift to UT Dallas of 140 original paintings and sculptures. The personal collection, featuring both emerging and mature artists, is displayed throughout the university’s School of Management Building and the Erik Jonsson Academic Center.

The interactive presentation, which Davidow will curate, will include a descriptive label and thought-provoking question for each piece. The questions will give viewers the opportunity to “think more deeply and reflect on what the art says – visually, intellectually, and emotionally,” she explains.

Davidow, who became a serious collector 30 years ago, says she began the pursuit because she “wanted to live with art that says something new about what it’s like to live in the 20th – and now 21st – Century.”


Joan Davidow

“Contemporary art addresses the life we’re living right now, and it’s very satisfying and exciting to be able to share it with new generations of UT Dallas students and faculty, for whom I have a great deal of affection and respect. These works deserve to live and be seen, and I hope they will inspire and educate those who have the chance to experience the collection.”

Joan Davidow

About Joan Davidow

Davidow is director emerita of Dallas Contemporary, where she spent a decade identifying emerging artists bound for careers on a national stage, and created the nationally awarded Art Think™ program, which has taught more than 30,000 students to think creatively about modern art.

Widely credited with transforming the Arlington Museum of Art into a contemporary hub in North Texas, Davidow gained local and international attention for her innovative exhibition and education programs.  During her tenure at Arlington, she gained the attention of ArtNews for her work in developing Texas' premier venue for cutting-edge art.  Statewide recognition came with a Texas Monthly profile naming Davidow the “most imaginative and adventurous museum director working in Texas.”

She currently teaches four classes she developed for Southern Methodist University’s Master of Liberal Arts program, and is conducting bi-monthly art commentaries aired on Dallas public radio station KERA.

“Joan's gift is both personally generous and symbolically brilliant. Thanks to her, innovative works by young, rising Texas artists will grace the buildings of a young Texas university that is rapidly rising to international prominence,” said Dr. Dennis M. Kratz, dean of the university’s School of Arts and Humanities and the Ignacy and Celina Rockover Professor of Humanities.

“As an important Dallas-based arts administrator and journalist, Joan Davidow has been actively involved in the fluorescence of the rapidly growing local arts scene. Through this, she has built an unrivaled collection of the works of young Texas artists at the turning points in their career. The works she so generously has donated will both inspire new young artists and raise the bar of quality for their new work. The prospect is very exciting.”

Dr. Richard Brettell, the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetics at UT Dallas