• Institute of Art History Adds Signature Touches to New Master's Degree
  • Gao Xin, a visiting postdoctoral research fellow with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, attends an art exhibit at The Warehouse in downtown Dallas.

    Gao Xin, a visiting postdoctoral research fellow with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, attends an art exhibit at The Warehouse in downtown Dallas.

    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.

    More information on the program and forms for applying are on the EODIAH website.

    Read the entire story on the UT Dallas News Center.

  • Aesthetic studies prof on State Fair's 'Sistine Chapel' replica
  • 1476900985-markrosenMichelangelo’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.

    Read the entire column at the Dallas Morning News.

  • $17 Million Contribution Creates Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at UT Dallas
  • Dr. David E. Daniel and Mrs. Edith O'Donnell

    Edith O’Donnell, with UT Dallas President David E. Daniel, has been a longtime patroness of the arts and education. The Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which opened in 2013, will be home to the new institute’s campus offices.

    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. Rick Brettell

    Dr. Richard R. Brettell

    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.


    This Story Originally Appeared on the UT Dallas News Center

  • 'A Father of the Internet' to Discuss His Role in Developing Technology
  • Vinton G. Cerf

    Weeks after the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, one of the “fathers of the Internet” will visit campus to talk about his role in developing new technology.

    Vinton G. Cerf will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday,March 26 as part of the University’s new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series.

    Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, and has received such honors as the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the creation of the Internet. In his role at Google, Cerf identifies and promotes new technologies used to develop Internet-based products and services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University, and a master’s and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Cerf is the third of four speakers in the series.

    Christian Belady, general manager of Datacenter Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a UT Dallas alumnus, spoke Feb. 26. Robert Edsel, writer of the acclaimed book The Monuments Men, kicked off the lecture series to a sold-out audience on Jan. 22.

    Get Tickets

    Tickets are $15 for seats on the lower level of the lecture hall; $10 upper level tickets are sold out for Cerf’s lecture. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.


    Guests should park in Parking Structure I.  A map can be found here.

    Next in the Series

    April 16: Mae Jemison, scientist and astronaut. Click here for tickets.

    The fourth speaker will be Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut. She will speak on April 16. Jemison graduated from Stanford University in 1977 and earned her medical degree from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Medical College of Cornell University) in 1981. Jemison, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, is multilingual and trained in dance and choreography. Jemison is an advocate for science education.

    Tickets are on sale now for both remaining lectures. They are $15 for seats on the lower level of the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall and $10 for the upper level ($10 tickets are sold out for the Cerf lecture). A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.

    The lecture series, presented by The Dallas Morning News, was first announced during the recent dedication of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The new building houses programs that explore topics at the intersection of arts and technology.