Professor Andrea Giunta has been appointed to the newly established Endowed Chair in Latin American Art History and Criticism in the College of Fine Arts' Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.
The chair is the first initiative paid for with earnings from the Longhorn Network.
President Bill Powers allocated $1 million in proceeds from the network to create the chair. A $1 million matching gift from an anonymous donor will endow the Center for Latin American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) program. Giunta founded CLAVIS in 2009 and currently serves as director.
"The university's geographic and cultural proximity to Latin America along with decades of focus on this area has made us the American academic authority on the region," Powers said. "Increasing our understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse artistic life of Latin America is a key component of this larger sustained concentration. I'm delighted that Professor Giunta will be leading us to even greater heights in this area."
The endowed chair was created to help the Department of Art and Art History rise in national prominence, retain outstanding faculty in Latin American art history and consolidate the university's long-standing distinction as one of the leading research and teaching institutions in Latin American art history and criticism.
"Professor Giunta is one of the world's leading authorities on modern and contemporary Latin American art," said Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts. "She brings great distinction to the university's extensive faculty and special collections in Latin American Studies."
The $1 million endowment to the CLAVIS program will fund student scholarships and fellowships, visiting scholars and artists, and student travel. CLAVIS brings together scholars, museum and library professionals and collections in Latin America, the United States and Europe to outline a complex vision of Latin American art and its evolving modernity.
"The outstanding resources available at The University of Texas at Austin provide CLAVIS with a home site that could not be more privileged in terms of its potential to consolidate and renew Latin American art studies," Giunta said.
In 2008 Giunta also co-founded the Permanent Seminar, an arena for presentations and joint debate. By using the Permanent Seminar and CLAVIS, Giunta has sought to build a nexus of initiatives for the study of Latin American art by reaching out to other programs across the country, as well as within Texas between The University of Texas, Southern Methodist University and Rice University.
Giunta is also working with Mari Carmen Ramirez, curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, to forge relationships between the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) and CLAVIS to combine University of Texas students' research practices and the ICAA archives.
Earnings from the Longhorn Network are also being used to establish academic chairs in Philosophy, Physics, the Texas Program in Sports and Media, African and African Diaspora Studies and Mathematics.