$1 Million Gift to Fund Museum Research Project
Philanthropist Nancy Hamon Continues Support of UT Dallas Art Scholarship
April 28, 2009
A $1 million gift to The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums (CISM) at UT Dallas, by Dallas philanthropist and civic leader Nancy Hamon, will support research that will enable a book series on the history of art museums.
The Brettell Series on the History and Theory of the Art Museum will be edited by Dr. Richard Brettell, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies. The series, to be published by Yale University Press (London), is planning to produce one volume a year for five years, beginning in 2012.
Brettell created CISM under the UT Dallas School of Arts and Humanities in 1999. Brettell and his students explore the cultural politics of art display and the history of museums.
“We truly appreciate Mrs. Hamon’s support of Dr. Brettell’s work,” said Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas. “She is enabling the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums in its pursuit of excellence at UT Dallas.”
Brettell will work with a distinguished group of scholars and museum directors from the U.S., France, Britain and Germany in creating the series and conducting further research.
“Mrs. Hamon’s generous gift not only recognizes Dr. Brettell’s work, but also enables Professor Brettell to expand his efforts to make UT Dallas a leader in the study of the cultural importance of the art museum,” said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “He proves that great teaching and profound scholarship enhance each other.”
Hamon has a history of philanthropy to UT Dallas, to the UT System and to various arts institutions in Dallas and Fort Worth. In 2004, she made a $1 million gift to the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies in honor of her longtime friend, Mrs. Margaret McDermott. Brettell has been the sole occupant of the chair.
Brettell , former director of the Dallas Museum of Art, is among the world’s foremost authorities on French Impressionism. He consults with museums around the world on acquisitions and exhibitions. He has taught Impressionism and French painting at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Yale University, UT Austin and the University of Chicago.
Brettell is the author of Impressionism: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1900; Modern Art, 1851-1929: Capitalism and Representation; and Monet to Moore: The Millennium Gift of Sara Lee Corporation. Dr. Brettell received his Ph.D. in art history from Yale University.
“Nancy Hamon is among the most distinguished philanthropists in the history of Dallas—and that is saying a lot,” said Brettell. “Her understanding of the need for support of advanced study of the visual arts in Dallas, and her ongoing support of the arts has added luster to the city’s reputation and standing, and promises to do the same for the University.”