As we launch into the new academic year (the fifth year in the life of the O’Donnell Institute), three initiatives long in development are coming to fruition.
We have just welcomed our first class of Master’s students in Art History, a stellar group of young scholars who will spend the coming year immersed in seminars on topics including the Bauhaus, the History of Collecting, the Global Baroque, and Data-Driven Art History. Beginning in the spring semester, each student will design and carry out an independent research project that will culminate in a scholarly essay, a small exhibition, or a documentation project (for just a few examples), working directly with area collections and research resources. We look forward to updating you on their progress! Dr. Paul Galvez, Chair of the Master’s Program, and Lauren LaRocca, Master’s Program Coordinator, will guide the program in its inaugural year.
On September 22, the O’Donnell Institute will re-open the doors of The Wilcox Space, at the heart of Exposition Park, as a site for exhibiting the work of painters in Dallas whose practices bring together dedication to the craft of painting and exploration of the nature of the medium itself. The fall installation will feature the work of painter Liz Trosper, curated by John Pomara. Rick Brettell, Greg Metz, and John Pomara will curate the spring installation of work by Karl Umlauf. For the summer show, we will bring together a selection of works on paper by John Wilcox, whose work continues to animate the space that bears his name. Each installation will be documented in a print and digital publication and enriched by a public program. I am particularly grateful to David Wilcox, David Gibson, Corky Cunningham, Pierrette Lacour, Travis LaMothe, Katrina Saunders, and Marjaneh Goudarzi for their support and collaboration as we prepare The Wilcox Space for its next phase. My hope is that it will become a collaborative space for artists, art historians, and students to look at and think about the practice of painting in Dallas and beyond.
If our work at The Wilcox Space focuses on the hyper-local, our new Research Center in Naples takes a global perspective. Because of the extraordinary work of Elizabeth Ranieri, Francesca Santamaria, Sylvain Bellenger and his team at the Museo di Capodimonte, and our distinguished Advisory Group, The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities has just opened its doors in Naples, in the heart of the Bosco di Capodimonte. Over the course of the coming year we will welcome six advanced graduate students from institutions throughout Europe and the United States to pursue research projects related to Naples and the cultural histories of port cities and other sites of encounter and exchange. Our Research Residents will work closely with artworks, sites, and research materials in Naples, connect with colleagues at institutions throughout the city, and form the heart of the Center’s fledgling intellectual community. Throughout the year the Center will also host programs including small site-based research seminars and public symposia. I am honored to head this new initiative, which promises to make important contributions to the field of art history and to the scholarly communities of both Dallas and Naples.
In launching these three initiatives, I am profoundly grateful for the support of the endowment that Edith O’Donnell established for the Institute just four years ago this fall. Part of our work now is to see that these initiatives continue to grow and thrive over the longer term. Establishing named Fellowships in our Master’s program and at our Research Center in Naples, sponsoring site-based research seminars for graduate students and scholars, and helping us build our small research library at the Center in Naples are just a few ways that Friends of the Institute can help us do just that.
Amid all this exciting activity at the Institute, I am pressing forward with my own research, focusing this year on my book project on the materialities and mobilities of panel painting in fourteenth-century Naples. I’ll present work related to the book this fall at the Andrew Ladis Trecento Conference in Houston, and next spring at the Renaissance Society of America in Toronto.
The whole O’Donnell Institute family joins me in wishing you a productive and creative academic year.
Sarah K. Kozlowski
Associate Director (Acting Director 2018-2019)
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History