Art History News
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas recently opened a retrospective exhibition of photography by Carolyn Brown, who is known for her architectural pictures of the Middle East, Latin America and Texas.
UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson joined Dr. Richard Brettell, director of the O’Donnell Institute, the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair, at a recent reception to welcome Brown and her exhibition to the SP/N Gallery on campus. Benson also holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership.
Approximately 75,000 photographs — transparencies, digital scans, digital photographs and prints — already are archived at the O’Donnell Institute where, in collaboration with Brown, the institute is organizing and digitizing the archive and, over time, will make it accessible through an online research portal.
The SP/N Gallery hosts numerous exhibitions for the institute and the School of Arts and Humanities. Accompanying the Brown retrospective at the gallery is an exhibition of the Comer Collection, which captures scenes of American life from the middle to late 20th century. Both exhibitions will end Feb. 16.
From March 1 through March 24, the gallery will present its annual high school juried art exhibition. After that, from April 26 to May 11, UT Dallas’ art students will display their artworks at the gallery in a juried competition.
To read more, including about the SP/N Gallery photo exhibit, visit the original article on the UTD News Center.
UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson and Amy Lewis Hofland, director of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, talk about the museum’s collection and the impact of the gift to the University. If you don’t see the video, watch it on Vimeo.
The Trammell and Margaret Crow family has donated the entire collection of the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art, together with $23 million of support funding, to The University of Texas at Dallas to create the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas.
The University will continue to operate the Trammell and Margaret Crow Museum of Asian Art in its current space in the downtown Dallas Arts District, where it has been located for more than 20 years. The gift funding will provide for the design and construction of a second museum on the UT Dallas campus, which will allow for a wider range of the full collection to be viewed by the public.
The Crow Museum’s growing permanent collection demonstrates the diversity of Asian art, with more than 1,000 works from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam, spanning from the ancient to the contemporary. The collection also includes a library of over 12,000 books, catalogs and journals.
The collection was started by Dallas residents Trammell and Margaret Crow in the 1960s. Trammell Crow was legendary in the business world, known as one of the most innovative real estate developers in the United States. At one point in the mid-1980s, he was said to be the nation’s biggest developer, with more than 8,000 properties in over 100 cities. During numerous business trips to Asia, he developed an appreciation for its unique and diverse art. Over the course of three decades, the Crows assembled a vast and distinguished collection, including a 6-foot Ming dynasty seated Vairocana Buddha and one of the finest collections of later-period Chinese jades in the United States, including such works as the 18th-century Qing dynasty sculpture titled Jade Mountain.
“Like the gift of art from Avery Brundage to the City of San Francisco more than 50 years ago to found the Asian Art Museum, the Crow Museum joining forces with The University of Texas at Dallas forges another powerful connection between Asia, the United States and beyond,” said Dr. Jay Xu, director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. “I look forward to partnering with both institutions in showcasing how beautiful artworks, and the living cultures that created them, can expand a conversation for all to participate in.”
In 1998, the Crow family opened the current museum with the goal of keeping the collection intact and increasing the American public’s knowledge and appreciation of the arts and cultures of Asia. Trammell S. Crow, president of the Crow Family Foundation and son of Trammell and Margaret Crow, has overseen the development of the museum during the past 20 years as a point of connection between the U.S. and Asia.
“We are excited to see The University of Texas at Dallas bring the museum that our parents built into a new era,” Crow said. “It is our hope that the museum will continue to create global awareness and conversation through the power of the collection and its programs and reach new audiences, both among UT Dallas students and the broader North Texas community.”
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) announced the gift to the University of the Barrett Collection, consisting of over 400 works of Swiss art. It is the single-largest donation ever made to UTD as well as the largest gift of art to any school in The University of Texas System. This unparalleled collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints is the only definitive collection of Swiss art outside of Switzerland and is considered the largest and finest private collection of Swiss art ever formed. With works dating from the late 14th through the mid-20th century, the Barrett Collection includes important pieces by every major artist born in Switzerland, from Caspar Wolf (1735-1783), the first painter of the Swiss Alps, to Cuno Amiet (1868-1961).
Recognized for its excellence in science, engineering and business, UTD has recently placed greater emphasis on the arts. With the creation of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History in 2014, the University has fostered innovative research and graduate education in the history of art, embracing a global history of art that ranges across geography, chronology and medium. The gift of the Barrett Collection, which will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on campus, will extend the vision for the O’Donnell Institute, attracting new scholars and expanding the role of the arts across the University.
“The arts are an essential facet of any great university,” said Dr. Richard C. Benson, president of UTD. “I am grateful to the Barretts for this generous gift, which will catalyze the development of arts programs at the O’Donnell Institute at UTD and provide our students with direct access to an extraordinary collection.”
The collection was started in the 1990s by Dallas residents Nona and Richard Barrett. As a result of extensive travel in the country, they realized early on that, outside of Switzerland, Swiss art was widely unknown, underappreciated and undervalued. After an early visit to the collection of Mme. Monique Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, they made their first acquisition at Art Basel of a painting by Ferdinand Hodler. Relying on knowledge gleaned through research and their rapidly developing private library, along with guidance from curators, dealers and art historians, the Barretts have become the most knowledgeable American collectors of Swiss art of the past two generations. This has enabled them to build the present collection, often acquiring works before they reach the market. Since Nona’s death in 2014, Richard and his present wife, Luba, have continued to expand the collection.
“We have benefited so much from our city of Dallas and are glad to have an opportunity to give something back. Our wish is for our collection to remain intact and have a permanent, public home in our own city as well as in Texas. The building of the Barrett Museum on the UTD campus not only will achieve that, but will enable the collection to continue to grow through future support from the Barrett Collection Foundation,” said Richard Barrett. “Our dearest hope is that this gift will enhance the cultural fabric of this fine university.”
Noted both for its completeness and the depth of holdings of works by the most important Swiss-born artists, the Barrett Collection has drawn the attention of art historians, curators, and museum directors from around the globe. Works from the collection have been on view at major art institutions internationally, including the Tate Britain, Kunsthaus Zurich, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d’Orsay, among others. Representative works in the collection include:
- Swiss Carnation Master, Hubert and St. Catherine of Alexandria, c. 1490, oil on panel
- Jean-Etienne Liotard, Portrait of the Empress Maria Theresa, 1762, pastel on vellum
- Caspar Wolf, View Across Lake Seeberg to the Muntigalm, 1778, oil on canvas
- Johann Heinrich Füssli, The Expulsion from Paradise, 1803-05, oil on canvas
- Angelika Kauffmann, Ulysses on the Island of Circe, 1793, oil on canvas
- Arnold Böcklin, Loneliness, 1875, oil on canvas
- Alexandre Calame, Vue du Handeck, c. 1837, oil on canvas
- Ferdinand Hodler, Landscape with Rhythmic Shapes, 1908, oil on canvas and Woman with Flowers (The Song), 1909, oil on canvas
- Felix Vallotton, Femme au Miroir, 1909, oil on canvas
- Cuno Amiet, Self-Portrait, 1921, oil on canvas and Portrait of Anne Amiet with Red Background, 1913, oil on canvas
- Giovanni Giacometti, Bagnanti (Alberto and Diego), 1919, oil on canvas
- Augusto Giacometti, Amaryllis, 1942, oil on canvas
Dr. Richard Brettell, a scholar of modern painting and founding director of the O’Donnell Institute, has known the collection since its inception. He has worked closely with the Barretts to develop plans for the museum, which will be unique in the world outside Switzerland.
“The creation of a museum with a collection of this breadth and depth of Swiss art at its core is unprecedented in the United States. But bringing this collection to a major research university makes the significance of the gift even greater,” Brettell said. “The focus and range of the Barrett Collection will spark many new dissertations, articles and books written by our graduate students and faculty.”
In addition to the works currently in the collection, UTD will also receive funding from the Barrett Collection Foundation for future acquisitions, including works by post-World War II and contemporary Swiss artists.
To read more, including about the Barrett collection, visit the original article on the UTD News Center.
Ekaterina Kouznetsova BS’16 is making her mark on the local and international art scene as the founder of ArtMail, a subscription art service she conceptualized and launched just months after graduating.
The Russian-born Dallas resident serves as both creative force and personal curator at the company that mails subscribers museum-quality prints of new works from emerging international artists.
Kouznetsova parlayed the skills she learned in the University’s marketing, global business and art history programs with immersion in the local arts that began her first year in college.
“When I was just a freshman, I started getting very, very involved in the Dallas arts scene, and it became apparent that that was the industry I wanted to work in,” she says.
As a freshman, Kouznetsova landed a position at a local art gallery, followed by a fashion editor gig for Dallas-based magazine THRWD.
From there, she was asked to manage marketing for Dallas designers Susie Straubmueller and Lucy Dang, and was soon brought on as the international art editor for Nakid Magazine, where she reviewed the work of eight to 10 new artists each week for two years.
All this exposure to the arts industry started to add up, she says, noting that “patterns began to emerge.” Kouznetsova observed how talented artists from around the world were facing similar challenges, namely a lack of both exposure and sustainable income.
“So often, [the art industry] comes off as a very sterile, unwelcoming place,” she says. “And I thought, there’s got to be a better way to fix all these issues.”
In her final semester at UT Dallas, Kouznetsova was taking 21 hours while also working as Nakid’s international arts editor — the same semester she decided to start building her new business.
“I’m one of those people that unless I’m overwhelmingly busy, I feel like I’m wasting time,” she says with a laugh.
In 2016, Kouznetsova spent the summer abroad exploring the international market, primarily in London, as part of her global business studies. Following her August graduation, she drew from her expanded knowledge of art curation and launched ArtMail to the public later that year with a roster of 20 artists.
Kouznetsova used Instagram and a website to market the new business, which earned her a hat tip in the visual arts section of The Dallas Morning News.
The goal, she says, was simply to craft an open atmosphere for artists intimidated by traditional galleries, while also making emerging art and decor accessible to the general public.
“I try to ensure a steady stream of income for the artists so that they can keep on creating work,” she adds. “Each artist receives a very, very generous commission that is higher than any other printing company by far, on both prints and originals.”
Kouznetsova explains that most galleries and curators will keep as much as half of a work’s selling price, but she takes “much less.”
The subscriber receives a certified giclée print guaranteed to last 150 years, along with an artist interview and certificate of authenticity.
“I work to promote the stories behind the art and to create multicultural connections between artists and clients,” Kouznetsova says. “This creates an extra level of connection and education between the collector and artist; it’s not just going to a store and buying a random print.”
So how does it all work? Kouznetsova says art lovers can sign up online, where they are prompted to pick their favorite paintings from a menu of options. The process, which takes about three minutes on the subscriber’s end, provides Kouznetsova with enough information to curate a customized selection of artists and prints.
Prints are matted in specially designed environmentally sustainable frames “made of recycled biomatter with a clear light acrylic on the front with UV coating,” she says.
The bonus: They’re incredibly light.
The company also offers original works for purchase, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
As for the future for ArtMail, “We’re building a neural net,” she says, “an AI as an experiment in art curation.”
“We’ve actually already built it out in print data, with tens of thousands of referral points. For now, it’s been surprisingly accurate, predicting pieces that I personally curate.”
Kouznetsova hopes to eventually release the technology, but for now, all works are selected by the entrepreneur herself. Her stake in the international art scene is expanding.
Kouznetsova reports that she recently began a collaboration with curator Deve Sanford and the Ritz-Carlton in Abu Dhabi.
“ArtMail is creating connections between an artist in Thailand and a software engineer in Dallas,” she says. “I’m very glad that I live in a world where I’m able to do that and facilitate those connections.”
The fall 2018 semester will welcome the first students admitted to the master’s program in the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH). The curriculum is tailored around faculty members’ varied backgrounds and access to extensive catalogs, collections and institutions throughout the Dallas area.
The new degree, offered through UT Dallas’ School of Arts and Humanities, is a major milestone in a plan first laid out by Mrs. Edith O’Donnell when she provided the initial gift that led to the institute’s creation in 2014. Prospective students have until Jan. 15 to apply for the inaugural class.
“This program will be part of our young but already flourishing research institute,” said Dr. Sarah K. Kozlowski, assistant director of EODIAH. “We are looking for strong undergraduate applicants with a background in art history who want to take the next steps in either their professional or academic career.”
Dr. Paul Galvez, research fellow and curriculum coordinator for the master’s program, stressed the value of their “object-based program.” Students can look forward to accessing the expansive galleries and collections on the UT Dallas campus, along with others housed at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center and The Warehouse.
The intensive 16-month program also has a unique approach to curriculum. A student’s first year will cover foundational skills and knowledge taught by faculty, and will include critical curatorial skills.
“If you’re interested in art history but don’t want to spend all of your time in a library, we offer training for students who want to be in the reserves or our galleries,” Galvez said. “This training normally happens informally, but we are making it part of the curriculum for all our students.”
Students also will take 15 hours of master’s seminars covering a range of topics beyond what comparable programs offer, such as architecture and photography.
EODIAH faculty and staff are most excited about the final year practicum.
“Traditionally, the MA thesis has been exactly that — a long research paper,” Galvez said. “And that’s certainly one route, but what we are offering — which is unique — is a practicum that doesn’t have to just be writing.”
Examples of alternative projects include a catalog of interviews with a studio artist, developing an exhibition proposal, or refining curatorial skills.
“There’s a conservation project where we can hook the interested student up with a conservationist in the area so that they can study the process and learn from a professional,” said Lauren LaRocca, coordinator of special programs.
Michelangelo’s complex, revolutionary frescoes in the vault of theSistine Chapel remain the standard by which artistic difficulty and accomplishment are measured. Featuring 380 individual figures covering 2,400 square feet of painted surface, the ceiling itself emblematizes its very subject: the power of creation.
For those who cannot make the trip to Rome, Rome has come to Dallas — in virtual form. “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition,”currently on view at The Women’s Museum Building in Fair Park and recently extended through Jan. 8, features full-scale photographic reproductions of Michelangelo’s vault frescoes (1508-12) and his 40-foot-high Last Judgment (1534-41) from the altar wall.
Edith O’Donnell, longtime visionary and patroness of the arts and education, has made a contribution of $17 million to create the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History. The purpose of the investment is to elevate art history at UT Dallas to a nationally pre-eminent stature.
“UT Dallas excels in science and engineering. The moment is right to build a program of the same quality and rigor in art history,” O’Donnell said. “There is a natural affinity between science and the arts. UT Dallas founders Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott and Cecil Green actively supported the arts. Now, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for art history, UTD-style.”
Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas, said, “The University extends its sincerest thanks and grateful appreciation to Edith O’Donnell. Her dedication to preserving and expanding the knowledge of art throughout the world inspires the creation of this institute.”
Dr. Richard R. Brettell will lead the stand-alone institute as the first Director and Edith O’Donnell Distinguished Chair. He will also serve as a vice provost, reporting to Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president and provost.
Brettell, a professor of art and aesthetic studies who also holds the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, said, “Mrs. O’Donnell has made it clear that what interested her about funding art history at UT Dallas was our strength in the sciences, technology and management, thus creating the conditions that could foster a wholly new kind of art history.
“With art historians on campus who study the intersections between art and cartography, art and biology, and art history in the context of big data, UT Dallas has demonstrated a willingness to think about art and about history in new ways,” Brettell said.
O’Donnell said she recognizes that outstanding faculty and students are critical to the institute’s success. Her $17 million lead gift will endow Brettell’s position at the institute, four O’Donnell Distinguished Chairs, 10 O’Donnell Graduate Research Fellowships, and a research and program fund. The institute will provide support for conferences, research travel, and visiting faculty and lecturers.
The institute’s campus offices will be in the new Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, a 155,000-square-foot facility that houses programs in arts and technology, visual arts, emerging media and communications, as well as a 1,200-seat lecture hall.
“The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History will be the first such institute formed in the digital age,” Brettell said. “It will work with the distinguished older institutes” in New York (The Institute of Fine Arts), London (The Courtauld Institute of Art History) and Munich (The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte) as well as the research institutes at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Clark Art Institute and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and “will add a truly 21st-century dimension to the study of art history.”
The institute also will strengthen UT Dallas’ ties to area art museums. The Dallas Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art are working with UT Dallas on a partnership in conservation science. This partnership provides the museums with an opportunity to collaborate with UT Dallas scientists. Using state-of-the-art equipment, they will undertake long-term research projects focused on new scientific techniques and technologies to study artists’ materials. One of the new Edith O’Donnell Chairs will be dedicated to conservation science.
“We are very excited by the opportunity to collaborate with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and its director, Dr. Rick Brettell, to foster a better understanding of the creativity and history embedded in the visual arts,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art.
“The 22,000 works of art in our city’s encyclopedic museum will provide a laboratory for scholars from around the world participating in the life of this new institute. The DMA’s emerging strengths in both technology platforms and scientific research of our collections will also prove to be a fitting complement to the compelling vision articulated by Mrs. O’Donnell and by Dr. Brettell.”
Jeremy Strick, director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, said that the gift “represents a major step in advancing Dallas as an international center for the visual arts.
“Cementing existing programs, bringing new art historical talent to Dallas and fostering interdisciplinary research and institutional collaborations, the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History promises to be transformative not only of the arts in Dallas, but also of the field of art historical studies,” he said.
Existing programs that will be affiliated with the institute include the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums, the Conservation Science Initiatives in partnership with the DMA and Amon Carter Museum, the DFW Art History Network and the Texas Fund for Curatorial Research.
Other affiliated museums and projects include the Census of French Sculpture in American Collections, the Crow Collection of Asian Art,Gauguin Catalogue Raisonné, James Magee: The Hill, the DMA, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the Yale Series of Books on the History and Theory of Art Museums.
The institute will open this fall with events and activities to be announced soon.
Dr. Richard R. Brettell, professor of art and aesthetic studies, has been awarded the 2011 Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History of Art at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Brettell, who holds the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas, will give a lecture series at Cambridge titled, Is There Anything Left to Say About Impressionism? The series will include three lectures and one symposium between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
Brettell’s first lecture, Impressionism and Anarcho-Syndicalism: The Suppressed Politics of an Apolitical Movement, will consider Impressionist exhibitions in political terms.
The Impressionist Surface: ‘Style’, Identity, and the Character of Gesture, the second lecture, will consider the painted and graphic marks of the Impressionists in post-Commune French society.
In the third lecture, Moving Through Space: Relativity and Impressionism, Brettell will discuss how the Impressionists took the idea of “a picture as a temporary stage” to new levels. This lecture will consider the work of Manet, Pissarro, Degas, Renoir, Monet and others.
Brettell founded the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums at UT Dallas in 1998. His expertise encompasses impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930. He earned his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University, and his museum experience includes serving as the Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art and Searle Curator of European Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
This summer, Brettell curated the exhibition Pissarro’s People at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. The Impressionist exhibit displayed 92 works, including portraits of artist’s family members alongside pictures of artists, neighbors, domestic help and rural workers. The exhibition was reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Brettell published Pissaro’s People,an archival study that that includes interviews with surviving family members of the artist and research from newly discovered letters. The book also examines the artist’s relationship with fellow artists, writers, neighbors, merchants and domestic servants.
As part of a new series of community-centered events, the UT Dallas Development Board is hosting a presentation titled, “The Art of Private Collecting – The Texas Experience,” with Dr. Richard Brettell, Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas.
Brettell will share insights from his book From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Thursday, April 14 at the Dallas Museum of Art Horchow Auditorium. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
Dr. Charlotte Eyerman, an expert in 19th-century French art and a leading authority in modern and contemporary art, has been appointed American Director of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange).
FRAME, whose American headquarters is based at The University of Texas at Dallas, is a formal collaboration of 12 museums in France and 12 museums in North America that serves as a catalyst for cultural exchange between France and the United States.
Dr. Charlotte Eyerman
Dr. Eyerman has held curatorial positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum in the Department of Paintings, as well as at the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she was Curator and Department Head of Modern and Contemporary Art. Dr. Eyerman has published scholarly essays and has lectured extensively at museums and universities nationally and internationally.
“I am delighted and honored to be appointed American Director of FRAME,” Dr. Eyerman said. “FRAME was built on a vision of intellectual and cultural élan and generosity. I aim to build on that foundation to provide a strong, responsive executive voice that honors the past and ensures future success.”
Said Pierrette Lacour, FRAME Coordinator at UT Dallas, “After a long year without a director, I am very excited to work with Charlotte again. FRAME is bound to flourish under her leadership.”