Tag: Mrs. Margaret McDermott

Remembering Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott was the philanthropist extraordinaire in a city of philanthropists. She relished her city and, within it, her beloved Highland Park, and her contributions knew very few bounds. A list of the institutions and individuals to whom she made generous contributions would be so long as to defy comparison. Her gifts varied from multi-million-dollar commitments for capital and endowment at major and minor Dallas institutions to small acts of charity to her friends and their children. Her love of UT Dallas was boundless, even as she demonstrated deep involvement with the programs and financial health of the two non-Texas universities to which she devoted so much of her life, MIT and Stanford.

UT Dallas received a lion’s share of her generosity, including many chaired professorships, the Wildenthal Honors College, the Eugene McDermott Scholars Program, the Brettell Award in the Arts, and the transformational landscaping designed by her friend and the first recipient of the Brettell Award in the Arts, Peter Walker. One of Margaret McDermott’s last extraordinary acts was to invite Peter Walker’s entire Berkeley-based firm–35 people–on an all-expenses-paid visit to Dallas, and the last dinner party of the many thousands she hosted in her long life was held in honor of Peter and his team. She spent hours visiting with each of the visitors and stayed up well past her bedtime–whatever that might be for a woman of 106 years.

Margaret will remain for a very long time the largest donor to UT Dallas in our short but intensely productive history. Because of her, the University’s aspirations toward excellence were fulfilled much more quickly than anyone ever expected. And, if she had any regrets before her death, it was that she would not be able to celebrate UT Dallas’ 50th anniversary, which we will celebrate in 2019.

There was another institution to which Margaret McDermott was committed for decades, The Dallas Museum of Art. Indeed, she created a truly global art museum from one that had been a regional institution in her youth. Its holdings of African, Pre-Hispanic, and Indonesian art are due almost solely to her leadership and financial commitments, and there is not a single collecting area in the museum that has not been enriched by her. I spent my first day following her passing walking through the DMA and visiting the hundreds and hundreds of works of art given by her, purchased from funds donated by her, and given in honor of her dearest friends.

She worked and chatted and gave and supported and enjoyed until the last week of her long life, filling each day of her calendar with the people she adored, with music, art, gardens, theater–you name it. If anyone lived life to its fullest, it was Margaret McDermott. We all have “Margaret stories.” Now is the time to share them.

I am lucky to have been named the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair in Aesthetic Studies–the first chair in her name, created with a gift from her dear friend, the late Nancy Hamon.

I also had the pleasure and privilege of co-authoring, with her, her final publication: Reflections, which we wrote together and which was published by her dear friend Rue Judd with wonderful photographs and short essays. Now that she is gone, the boxes and pallets of books completed several years ago will be released by the institution to which she was so committed, The Dallas Museum of Art. When the paintings and sculptures she bequeathed to the museum are installed, her beloved DMA will reach another level in its long climb to international excellence.

Richard R. Brettell, Ph.D.

Founding Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair

 

Ellen Brettell, Margaret McDermott, Rick Brettell

 

Read more at UT Dallas’s Legacy website 

EODIAH Celebrates Four Years

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas celebrated its fourth academic year by honoring Edith O’Donnell, its inspirational founder, at a special dinner on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 in the Ann and Jack Graves Ballroom of the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center located at UT Dallas.

The evening was hosted by Dr. Richard C. Benson, President of the University, and the Founding Director of the Institute, Dr. Richard R. Brettell.  Following a film tribute to Mrs. O’Donnell for her generosity and commitment to the arts, Dr. Brettell announced that major gifts have been received to begin plans to build the W. Ray Wallace Athenaeum which will house a new art library and major art collection that have been promised to the University.

In addition, he shared that the new headquarters of the O’Donnell Institute will be housed in the Wallace Athenaeum, which will be surrounded by gardens designed by Peter Walker, the world-renowned landscape architect behind the landscaping master plan funded by the University’s most important donor, Margaret McDermott.  With these gifts received, UT Dallas is poised to create The Wallace Athenaeum at the very center of its campus and to provide a place of inspiration and intellectual exchange in the arts on a campus dedicated to STEAM.

Attendees of the Fourth Annual Dinner included: Edith and Peter O’Donnell; Dr. Richard C. Benson, President, University of Texas at Dallas, and Leslie Benson; Dr. Richard R. Brettell, Founding Director of The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, and Dr. Caroline Brettell; Gay and Bill Solomon; Mr. Richard Barrett; Carol Kradolfer; Ruth O’Donnell Mutch; Mrs. Margaret McDermott; Beatrice Carr Wallace; Caren Prothro; Dr. Hobson Wildenthal; Wendy and Jeremy Strick; Nancy Dedman; Rachael and Bob Dedman; Elizabeth Boeckman; Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller; Roger Horchow; Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson; Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Marnie Wildenthal; Mrs. Nancy Shutt; Mrs. Peter Denker; and Ms. Pat Patterson.

EODIAH thanks its many generous friends and supporters. We look forward to working with all of you to achieve our future plans. Stay tuned for more information and ways you may wish to support this ambitious project.

Edith O’Donnell; back row (left to right) Carol Kradolfer, Peter O’Donnell, Jill Wilkinson, Ruth Mutch, Travis Andres, Mary Gorter

Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Margaret McDermott, Richard Barrett, and Dr. B. Hobson Wildenthal

(Left to right) Richard Barrett, Mrs. Ray Wallace, Dr. Richard Brettell

Dr. Caroline Brettell, Mrs. Ray Wallace, and Caroline Brown

Dr. Richard C. Benson, President of UT Dallas; and Mrs. Leslie Benson

Rachael and Bob Dedman, and Mrs. Nancy Dedman

Gay and Bill Solomon, and Ms. Salle Stemmons

To support EODIAH, please click here.

Your gift at any level helps fund our many collaborations, scholarly seminars, lectures and art history programs that provide an unparalleled resource to our community and beyond.

For more information, call Lucy Buchanan at (972) 883-2472 or email at lucy.buchanan@utdallas.edu.

Sincerely,

Lucy M. Buchanan

Director of Development

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Friends of EODIAH

Dr. Richard R. Brettell and Ms. Lucy Buchanan

During the past few months, EODIAH has hosted numerous events and important programs. Here is a “snapshot” of some of our supporters.

To support EODIAH, please click here.

Your gift at any level helps fund our many collaborations, scholarly seminars, lectures and art history programs that provide an unparalleled resource to our community and beyond.

For more information, call Lucy Buchanan at (972) 883-2472 or email at lucy.buchanan@utdallas.edu.

Sincerely,

Lucy M. Buchanan

Director of Development

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History

Edith and Mr. Peter O’Donnell

Margaret McDermott and Dr. Richard C. Benson, President of UT Dallas

George Schnerk and Mrs. Margaret McDermott

Mr. and Mrs. John Ridings Lee

Dr. B. Hobson Wildenthal and Mrs. Ray Wallace

Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Ms. Salle Stemmons

Mrs. Nancy Shutt and Mrs. Mark Lemmon

Mrs. Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly and Dr. Joanne H. Stroud-Bilby

Ms. Mary McDermott-Cook and Mr. Dan Patterson

Mr. and Mrs. George Lee Jr.

Dr. Agustín Arteaga and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Campbell

Mr. and Mrs. William Solomon

Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir with Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Cattarulla

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Barrett

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph M. Grant

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Halbreich

Ms. Serena Ritch

Mr. and Mrs. William A. Custard

Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pack

Ms. Patricia Patterson and Mrs. William E. Rose