Department of Art and Art History receives endowment gifts totaling $550,000

AUSTIN, Texas—A $500,000 gift from longtime art enthusiasts Allen P. and Susan M. Herskowitz has enabled the Department of Art and Art History to create two permanent endowment funds to benefit the painting program in the department's studio art division.

"We are very thankful for being the beneficiaries of this extremely generous gift," said Ken Hale, chair of the Department of Art and Art History. "Visionary gifts of this kind contribute significantly towards our ability to maintain the highest rankings at the regional and national levels."

Funds distributed from the Allen P. and Susan M. Herskowitz Professorship in Painting will be used to retain and recruit eminent faculty. The Allen P. and Susan M. Herskowitz Faculty Travel Endowment in Painting will honor and support the work of faculty members, regardless of rank or tenure, who have distinguished themselves by their exemplary teaching. This may include visiting scholars in residence.

"Attracting and retaining the best faculty is key to sustaining the rigor of the program and the quality of the artists coming out of the painting area, which is unmatched anywhere in Texas and the Southwest," said Robert Freeman, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "In its most recent ranking, U.S. News and World Report magazine ranked our Master of Fine Arts program as one of the top 10 programs in the United States."

Cecil and Joan Rhodes also recently made a $50,000 gift for the creation of the Joan White and J. Cecil Rhodes Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Art. Joan, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts, stated that her love of art was heightened during her three undergraduate years at the university. The Rhodes established this scholarship to support other aspiring young artists.

"Every year we compete with nationally and internationally recognized schools of art around the country to attract the most talented students to our programs," said Michael Mogavero, assistant chair of the studio art division. "Contributions in the form of scholarships ensure that we will continue to recruit the best of students in the future."

"Our faculty often exhibit their art and present their academic research in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas," said Carolyn Porter, assistant director for development of the Department of Art and Art History. "We are sincerely grateful to the Rhodes and Herskowitz families for contributing these lasting gifts to the Department of Art and Art History. They allow us the opportunity to continue to work with the most talented students and attract outstanding faculty whose creative research is among the most advanced in the country."

For more information contact: Bruno Longarini, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7021.