||Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
- September 9, 2013 Joseph and Nancy Keithley have donated $15 Million to Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here’s the news link: http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2013/09/nancy_and_joseph_keithley_dona.html
Nancy and Joseph Keithley donate $15 million to CWRU and the Cleveland Museum of Art to train scholars and curators of the future
Print Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer
on September 10, 2013 at 9:40 PM, updated September 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM
A new graduate art history program based at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art would draw on unique strengths of the museum's collection, such as the new Japanese galleries that went on view earlier this year.
A $15 million donation from Nancy and Joseph Keithley could put Cleveland on the map nationally as a training ground for museum curators and directors of the future.
The Cleveland Museum of Art and Case Western Reserve University, which will split the Keithley gift, will use the money to give permanent status to a revitalized PhD. program that draws inspiration from the museum’s permanent collection and renowned art history library.
The university and the museum, which created a collaborative art history program more than 40 years ago, announced last year that they would launch the new graduate program with a $500,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. But the money was only enough to provide tuition and stipends for two students for five years.
The Keithley money will enable the program to bring three new students a year indefinitely, and to maintain full enrollment in the program with about 15 students at any one time. Each student will receive full tuition, plus a stipend of $25,000 a year.
In honor of the donation, which specifically comes from the Nancy and Joseph Keithley Fund at the Cleveland Foundation, the program will be called The Nancy and Joseph Keithley Institute for Art History.
“This will really catapult our institutions’ and community’s reputation in the field,” said CWRU President Barbara Snyder.
“It’s huge in every sense,” said David Franklin, the museum’s director. “I’m really, really elated.”
Nancy Keithley, a trustee of the museum, and Joseph Keithley, a trustee of the university and former chairman, president and CEO of Keithley Instruments, declined to give interviews.
Catherine Scallen, chairwoman of the art history program at CWRU, said the Keithley donation could make it possible for a PhD. student to graduate in five years debt-free.
“It’s a moral issue nowadays,” to worry about the financial impact of higher education on students, Scallen said.
“For someone to do doctoral work in the humanities without support like this means a lifetime of paying off loans and financial insecurity,” she said. “No matter when they [students in the Keithley program] finish, we hope they won’t be carrying debt.”
Scallen said the CWRU art history department could grow from its current full-time faculty of eight to as many as 10 or 12.
The Keithley program will have a special scholarly twist.
In contrast to the majority of graduate art history programs, which focus primarily on complex and highly theoretical concepts of how to analyze and interpret works of art, the Keithley program will emphasize the physical reality of actual art objects in the Cleveland museum’s collection.
Art history and theory will be given equal emphasis with the study of artistic materials and fabrication processes, along with the conservation of art objects.
An “object-centered” approach in Cleveland will help train future museum professionals, as well as academics conversant in the physical realities of making and preserving works of art, Scallen and Franklin said.
“I was disillusioned with a drift in academic art history in the direction of text and theory at the expense of the object,” Franklin said. “Students were being engrained not to have an emotional reaction to a work of art. This is a personal crusade of mine to have a place where art history is taught about the object.”
Franklin also said he wanted to help train rising scholars outside the more popular areas of European, American and contemporary art. The field needs new experts in textiles and in Asian, African, Islamic and other areas of art in which the Cleveland museum has strength, he said.
Ultimately, Franklin and Scallen said, the collections of the art museum could change both the faculty composition of the art history program at CWRU and the content of the curriculum.
“We’re really excited about the collaboration,” Franklin said. “The quality of these artworks [in the permanent collection] is going to act like a magnet for the type of courses that are taught, as well as the character and content.
“We’ll start teaching more comprehensively; we’ll start teaching connoisseurship and the techniques of art; every student will understand conservation issues.”
In the near term, the joint museum-CWRU art history program – undergraduate and graduate - will continue to be housed in Mather Hall at the university, and in the galleries, library and classrooms at the museum.
Ultimately, Franklin said, the two institutions probably would seek to create a permanent home for the Keithley program on the 4.1-acre site of the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Gund Building at 11141 East Blvd.
The art institute sold the property earlier this year to the museum and CWRU for $9.2 million to help finance the consolidation and expansion of its campus on Euclid Avenue and East 116th Street.
Franklin said that after the art institute vacates the East Boulevard site in a couple years that the museum and CWRU would consider building a permanent home for the art history program on that site.
“Nothing has been decided yet but that’s certainly a logical place to look for the future,” he said. “Certainly the ambition is to have an expanded physical home for this program and the CWRU art history program.”
Additional construction money for such a project would be needed, because the Keithley donation does not include funding for bricks and mortar, Franklin and Snyder said.
Snyder said that discussions about the East Boulevard site are “a couple years down the road; we’ve committed to working with the art museum. It will be ours together.”
||Keith and Kay's
||16 Sep 2013 |
||Keithley, Joseph Faber, b. 3 Aug 1915, Peoria, Peoria, Illinois , d. 1 Oct 1999, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio |
||Pearce, Nancy |
||17 Jan 1948
|Residence - 1998 - Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio