Welcome to the O’Donnell Institute
The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History was founded in 2014 with a $17,000,000 endowment gift from Mrs. Edith O’Donnell, an important Dallas philanthropist. 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. Since then, Mrs. O’Donnell’s endowment has been enriched by $10,000,000 from the State of Texas and $3,000,000 from other philanthropists.
Since our founding in 2014 we have built two headquarters: our main offices in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building at UT Dallas and a research center at the Dallas Museum of Art. In the coming years, we will build a faculty, a newly formed graduate program, a research library, and a museum on the already strong foundation of our existing art history program. Our first O’Donnell Distinguished Chair is in the area of Conservation Science and represents a full partnership between the DMA, the O’Donnell Institute, and UT Dallas’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
This website is a continuously evolving record of our growth and transformation, as well as a source of information about our scholars, students, programs, and partnerships. I welcome you to it in the name of our founder, Edith O’Donnell.
— Dr. Richard R. Brettell
Founding Director, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History
and the Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair