The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has partnered with the University of Texas at Dallas to form the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, a center for art historical research and conservation study. The Institute is funded through a $17-million gift from O’Donnell. According to the university, it is the first degree-granting art history program that represents a collaboration between a public university and a public museum, and will offer master’s and doctorate degrees in aesthetic studies. Richard R. Brettell, professor and chair of art and aesthetic studies at the university’s school of arts and humanities, will lead the Institute.
The institution will reside partly in a 155,000-square-foot facility on UT Dallas’s campus that will include a conservation lab and will host programs in art and technology, visual arts, emerging media and communications. Faculty offices and workspaces will be at the DMA. The Institute’s faculty and DMA staff members will take on joint curatorial and teaching positions.
O’Donnell’s gift will also endow the Institute’s directorship, four chair positions and 10 graduate research fellowships as well as a research and program fund. The Institute will provide support for conferences, research travel, visiting faculty and lecturers.