We are a stand-alone institute within The University of Texas at Dallas for innovative research and education in the history of art, and a community of scholars dedicated to collaboration and exchange.
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is a stand-alone institute within The University of Texas at Dallas for innovative research and education in the history of art. Research and teaching at the O’Donnell Institute embrace a global history of art that ranges across geography, chronology, and medium. The first art history research institute founded in the digital age, the O’Donnell Institute explores in particular the intersection between the visual arts and the sciences and technology.
As a center for the growing community of art historians, curators, and practicing artists in Dallas and Fort Worth, we are dedicated to intellectual creativity, exchange, and collaboration in the form of lectures and symposia, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations with area institutions.
The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices designed by Cunningham Architects at The University of Texas at Dallas and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art designed by Buchanan Architecture.
Both spaces display artworks by contemporary artists including Gabriel Dawe, Carolyn Brown, Ludwig Schwarz, and John Wilcox.
Together, UT Dallas and the DMA offer outstanding resources for research, teaching, and collaboration, and are equipped with state-of-the-art conservation equipment and digital art history research tools.
Inside The O’Donnell Institute
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History was founded at The University of Texas at Dallas in Fall 2014 as a stand-alone institute with a generous endowment from arts patron Edith O’Donnell. Her charge was to invent a new kind of art history—what she called "Art History, UT Dallas style." What she envisioned was an art history open to multidisciplinary research and at home in a university on the cutting edge of the sciences and technology. Dr. Richard Brettell is the Founding Director.
Since our founding we have built two headquarters at UT Dallas and the Dallas Museum of Art, convened research fellows to pursue projects ranging from Byzantine icons to the landscapes of Courbet, launched major international research partnerships with Nanjing University in China and the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples, and collaborated with partner institutions to present symposia, exhibitions, and publications. In Fall 2018 we welcomed the inaugural class of our new Master’s Program in Art History.
We continue to build our faculty and graduate program, and to develop our multiple and varied research initiatives. The coming years will be even more transformative with a new arts complex, the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenaeum, to be built on the UT Dallas campus.
We invite you to participate in our upcoming public events.