About

We are a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art, and a community of scholars dedicated to collaboration and exchange.

© James F. Wilson
The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices at The University of Texas at Dallas (left) and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art (right).
The O’Donnell Institute is housed in offices at The University of Texas at Dallas (top) and in a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art (bottom).

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is a center for innovative research and graduate 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.

History

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History was founded at The University of Texas at Dallas in Fall 2014 with a generous endowment from arts patron Edith O’Donnell. Dr. Richard Brettell is the Founding Director.

Since our founding we have built two headquarters at UT Dallas and the DMA, 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 will welcome 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 next three years will be even more transformative: we will build a new arts complex at the center of the UT Dallas campus that will bring together the O’Donnell Institute, a major art history research library, and a University museum.

We invite you to participate in our upcoming public programs.

Offices

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, Stephen Lapthisophon, John Pomara, 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.

Donors

The O’Donnell Institute was founded in 2014 through an extraordinary lead gift from Mrs. Edith O’Donnell. Mrs. O’Donnell is joined by other individuals and institutions whose generosity and energy support our work.

To see the list of our generous donors, click here.