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Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award

The Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award, established in 1977, is presented to an individual who has been actively engaged in teaching art history for most of his or her career. Among the range of criteria that may be applied in evaluating candidates are: inspiration to a broad range of students in the pursuit of humanistic studies; rigorous intellectual standards and outstanding success in both scholarly and class presentation; contribution to the advancement of knowledge and methodology in the discipline, including integration of art-historical knowledge with other disciplines; and aid to students in the development of their careers.

2015 Winners

Lucy R. Lippard: Down Country

Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu

Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award

Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, professor of art history and director of the MA program in museum professions at Seton Hall University, has a distinguished record as an exemplary teacher. The letters submitted endorsing her nomination for this award testify to the many ways she has supported teaching at the undergraduate level, in graduate programs, and more broadly on the national and international level through the publication of a survey text on nineteenth-century global art history designed to present art in all media in the historical context of the period. The letters also testify to her skill as a program founder, an institution builder, and a community builder as well as to her inspiring work as an attentive mentor and gifted classroom teacher.

The endorsements also underscore the diversity of professional tracks her students have taken (professor, curator, editor, museum director, cataloguer, and designer) and that she has implicitly endorsed. Graduates of her institution (and Princeton where she taught as a visitor) single out her invaluable mentorship, her service as co-organizer of a graduate student symposium on nineteenth-century art, her authorship of the widely adopted textbook, as well as her founding and editorship of an electronic journal providing a forum for graduate student publication. They also point to her role as a service-oriented department chair, and commend her commitment to “supporting the careers and scholarly development of all students with whom she comes into contact.” They praise her teaching as characterized by a broad mastery of her subject framed by “patronage issues, and the relevant social, philosophical and political contexts” of art objects. Many note her deftness in creating a “lively sense of camaraderie” and a “model of a collaborative research environment.”

One former student summed up Chu as “a brilliant, challenging, and inspiring teacher…engaged, energetic, and committed to her students. … She is a role model outside the classroom as well: with grace and humor she balances teaching with a very high level of scholarship, service to the field, time for friends all over the world, and commitment to her close-knit family.”

Jury: Gabriel Weisberg, University of Minnesota, chair; Patricia Hills, Boston University; and Margaretta Lovell, University of California, Berkeley.

Past Winners

In the past, the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award has gone to well-respected teachers and scholars such as Jules Prown (1996), Anne Coffin Hanson (1990), Meyer Shapiro (1981), and Phoebe B. Stanton (1980). Recent recipients include Wu Hung (2008), Richard Shiff (2010), and Patricia Hills (2011). Exemplifying the important connection between scholarship and teaching, Robert Herbert, Oleg Grabar, and James Cahill have received both the teaching award and the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art.

Read a list of all winners of the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from 1977 to the present.

Award Nominations

CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2016 awards. Please review the guidelines to familiarize yourself with the nomination process and to download, complete, and submit the requested materials. Deadline: July 31, 2015, for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Awards, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award; August 31, 2015, for all others.

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