Meadows Museum to host first U.S. exhibition of masterworks from the House of Alba’s private collections

Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640), Charles V and the Empress Isabella, c. 1628. Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.

Charles V and the Empress Isabella, c. 1628. Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.

SMU’s Meadows Museum will present the first major U.S. exhibition of works from one of the oldest and most significant private art collections in Europe.

Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting will feature more than 100 European works – from paintings by Goya and Rubens to 16th-century tapestries by Willem de Pannemaker and 19th-century furniture created for Napoleon III – most of which have never been on public display or seen outside of Spain, as well as illuminated manuscripts, books, historic documents, miniatures, antiquities, prints, sculpture, drawings, and other objects.

Curated by Fernando Checa Cremades, former director of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Treasures from the House of Alba will be on view at the Meadows from April 18 through August 16, 2015, and will serve as the cornerstone to the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will continue throughout 2015.

The House of Alba – for centuries the most illustrious household in Spain, with close ties to the monarchy – remains one of the foremost noble families in Europe, with roots dating back to the mid-15th century when Fernando Álvarez de Toledo was named Count of the town of Alba de Tormes. The Albas have since forged connections with members of some of the most prominent dynasties in European history, including the House of Stuart; the Count-Dukes of Olivares; the Duchy of Veragua, (descendants of Christopher Columbus); Napoleon III and his wife, Eugenia de Montijo; and the Churchill family.

Over the past five centuries, the Alba family’s patronage, connoisseurship, and ties to Western royalty have shaped the growth and trajectory of the Alba collection, which is now one of the greatest private collections in the world. The current head of the Alba family is Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, the 18th Duchess of Alba, who bears more recognized titles than any other noble living today.

“Our will is to share the works and pieces that make up the collection of the Foundation House of Alba with an increasing public, each time more knowledgeable and more interested in culture and history. This sample allows us to present different works and documents that have survived the vicissitudes of history and that make the greatest treasure of the legacy of our family. It is also an extraordinary opportunity for making visible the steady and silent work of preservation and upkeep that the house of Alba has developed for centuries,” said Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martínez de Irujo, Duke of Huescar.

“The Meadows Museum is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Duchess of Alba and the entire Alba family, who have so graciously agreed to lend a range of preeminent works from their collection for this groundbreaking exhibition. These extraordinary works of art, many of which have never left the Alba family’s personal estates, are a treasure trove and a fount of new art historical knowledge,” said Mark Roglán, Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts.

“We are honored to present the first exhibition of this outstanding collection in the United States, sharing these works of art that tell the story of a remarkable family and provide an unprecedented opportunity to explore the panoply of cultural achievement and European history. We are honored that Fernando Checa Cremades will be curating Treasures from the House of Alba and working with the Museum to present the collection in a way no one has experienced before.”

> Learn more about the exhibition’s themes and highlights at SMU News

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$4 million gift will create new family law clinic in SMU’s Dedman School of Law

SMU Dedman School of Law QuadA donation of $4 million to SMU’s Dedman School of Law will endow the new VanSickle Family Law Clinic to provide free legal help for Dallas-area residents as well as essential skills training for Dedman Law students.

The donor whose gift is funding the VanSickle Family Law Clinic has requested anonymity.

The clinic, expected to open in fall 2015, will provide legal assistance for low-income North Texas residents in matters such as divorce, annulment, paternity actions, custody and visitation, child and spousal support.

> Learn more about Dedman School of Law clinic programs

“SMU’s Dedman School of Law is proud to be able to offer vital family legal services to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “This important clinic experience will be invaluable to the lawyers we graduate who go on to practice family law, and will provide all participating students with a heightened sensitivity about the human impact and challenges of family legal issues.”

The new clinic will place students in professional situations in which they are required to put classroom theory into practice. Students enrolled in the clinic will learn by representing clients and engaging in a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Interviewing and counseling
  • Conducting factual investigations and legal research
  • Preparing court documents
  • Negotiating property settlement agreements for divorce actions
  • Negotiating custody agreements
  • Advocating at conferences, hearings, and trials

An academic director will train and closely supervise eight-10 student attorneys each semester who will represent families through the VanSickle Family Law Clinic. The director will meet regularly with each student attorney throughout the semester and will accompany the student to all court appearances and major settlement negotiations. During the summer, the clinic director will continue to represent clients whose matters extend past the end of the academic year.

“Our clinical education program at the Dedman School of Law is central to our mission of providing outstanding legal education as well as service to the community,” said Julie Forrester, law dean ad interim. “Beginning in 1947, the Clinical Program at the Dedman School of Law was among the country’s first to sponsor a community legal clinic. The VanSickle Family Law Clinic will be a significant enhancement to the clinic program, providing outstanding service to its clients while also providing our students with practical experience and encouraging in them a commitment to public service.”

The gift to fund the VanSickle Family Law Clinic counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised $874 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

> Read the full story at SMU News

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For the Record: June 19, 2014

Faith Nibbs, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, presented at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a panel on “Achieving Self-Reliance: Paving the Way for Safe, Lawful and Sustainable Livelihoods.” She is director of SMU’s Forced Migration Innovation ProjectRead more at the SMU FMIP blog.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has published “Muscle as Fashion: Messages From the Bodybuilding Subculture.” The article appears in Volume 16, No. 7 (July 2014) of Virtual Mentor, a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.

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Service dogs take on new role as artists’ models in weekend workshop at SMU’s Meadows Museum, Saturday, June 21, 2014

John Bramblitt's painting Little Echo depicts his service dog as a puppy.  Bramblitt, who is blind, will teach his adaptive art techniques in a public workshop at SMU's Meadows Museum Saturday, June 21, 2014.

John Bramblitt’s painting Little Echo depicts his service dog as a puppy. Bramblitt, who is blind, will teach his adaptive art techniques in a public workshop at SMU’s Meadows Museum Saturday, June 21, 2014.

When Denton artist John Bramblitt paints a portrait of his service dog, Echo, he uses red, blue and yellow paint to highlight the image of the black Labrador retriever. To Bramblitt, who is blind, color in his paintings represents emotion, and he is quick to say that Echo is his best friend.

Bramblitt lost his sight as a college student due to complications from epilepsy. Now he is an internationally recognized artist and expert on adaptive art techniques for those with disabilities. He will share his process for painting by touch from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, June 21, 2014, in the galleries and studio of SMU’s Meadows Museum.

Learn more about John Bramblitt and his art

John Bramblitt with son Jack and service dog Echo

John Bramblitt walks home with son Jack and service dog Echo after Jack’s first day of kindergarten. The internationally acclaimed artist and volunteer leader will teach his award-winning adaptive art workshop at SMU.

The $25 workshop fee ($10 for Meadows Museum members) covers all materials. Advance registration is required; all abilities and levels of experience are welcome.

With service dogs from Guide Dogs of Texas as models, and museum paintings as inspiration, participants will paint their own dog art. The workshop is designed to teach adaptive art techniques to those with disabilities and those without.

At the Meadows, Bramblitt is a consultant to museum educators, helping them develop programs that make the museum accessible to everyone, no matter what their disability or ability.

The 43-year-old also shares the healing power of art in his workshops, which have received three national President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit SMU’s Meadows Museum online at smu.edu/meadowsmuseum

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Five SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2013-14

Five distinguished faculty members, with nearly 200 years of combined service to SMU, retired with emeritus status during the 2013-14 academic year. Congratulations to the following professors:

• Richard V. Helgason, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Management, Information and Systems, Lyle School of Engineering (1979 to 2014)

• Joseph W. McKnight, Professor Emeritus of Law, Dedman School of Law (1955 to 2014)

• William Pulte, Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development (1973 to 2014)

• Lawrence S. Ruben, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences (1986 to 2014)

Simon Sargon, Professor Emeritus of Composition, Meadows School of the Arts (1983 to 2014)

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SMU experts join KERA for Freedom Summer 50th anniversary film preview & panel discussion Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Freedom Riders Julia Aaron and David Dennis

Julia Aaron, left, and David Dennis participated in a Freedom Ride from from Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi in 1961. The Freedom Riders paved the way for Freedom Summer student volunteers. Photo credit: Paul Schutzer via ‘Freedom Riders’ c/o PBS

During the summer of 1964, more than 700 student volunteers joined with thousands of organizers and local African Americans to register new voters in Mississippi.

The violence that followed included the murders of three civil rights workers and the burning of dozens of churches, homes and community centers. Public outrage against these acts helped spur the U.S. Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In honor of Freedom Summer’s 50th anniversary, two SMU experts will join a former student activist and UNT law professor for KERA’s Freedom Summer Community Screening and Panel Discussion.

The screening and discussion take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, 2014 in KERA’s Community Room, 3000 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas. Admission is free; advance registration is required by 5:30 p.m. on the day. For details, contact engage@kera.org.

The event – which includes a preview of the June 24 PBS show “Voices of Freedom Summer” – is sponsored by KERA and the Embrey Family Foundation/SMU Embrey Human Rights Program with support from the South Dallas Cultural Center and the Dallas Faces Race think-tank.

“The racist issues civil rights activists confronted, primarily to ensure voting rights, aren’t just in the pages of history. They’re deeply entrenched to this day, but perhaps not as overtly visible,” says SMU Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin, event moderator.

Featured panelists include:

Ernie McMillan, a Dallas native and former member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Student Congress On Racial Equality (SCORE). McMillan was an integral part of Texas-based civil rights demonstrations that, although often successful, led to his imprisonment for more than three years.

Dennis Simon, SMU’s Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of political science in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and organizer of SMU’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage, now in its 10th year.

Cheryl Brown Wattley, a University of North Texas law professor who spent more than 21 years in private practice, primarily as a criminal defense attorney and civil rights litigator. At UNT she is director of Experiential Education and teach courses in professional skills, criminal law, and professionalism.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story at SMU News

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Alumna’s debut novel is SMU’s 2014 Common Reading

'We Need New Names' by NoViolet BulawayoFor the incoming class of 2018, SMU has chosen an acclaimed first novel that is also the first Common Reading selection to be written by an SMU graduate.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo tells the story of 10-year-old Darling, a Zimbabwean girl who lives in a shantytown called Paradise. Darling’s father has contracted AIDS – euphemistically called “the sickness” by the book’s characters – while working in South Africa. Her mother has left town in her own attempt to provide for the family.

Unexpectedly, Darling gets the chance to live in the United States with an aunt. But the golden opportunity doesn’t pan out according to her dreams when she begins her new life as an undocumented immigrant in Detroit.

“Bulawayo describes all this in brilliant language, alive and confident, often funny, strong in its ability to make Darling’s African life immediate,” wrote Uzodinma Iweala in The New York Times Book Review.

> SMU Magazine: Alumna traces career awakening to SMU

Judy Wertheimer’s review in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette states that “Ms. Bulawayo’s artistry is such that we can’t help but see ourselves in that wider world…. Darling is a dazzling life force with a rich, inventive language all her own, funny and perceptive but still very much a child.”

“We believe that this narrative will provide students with a wholly original reading experience,” said Associate Provost Harold Stanley in an e-mail to faculty and staff members dated Monday, May 19, 2014.

Bulawayo, known to many at SMU by her given name of Elizabeth Tshele, earned her master’s degree in English from the University in 2007 after receiving her bachelor’s in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce. In 2010, she received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Cornell as a Truman Capote Fellow. She recently completed a 2012-14 Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford.

Her pen name is a tribute both to her mother, who died when she was 18 months old (NoViolet means “with Violet” in her native Ndebele), and to her childhood home, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe.

Bulawayo’s semi-autobiographical first novel has received several prestigious awards and recognitions, including the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Prize for Debut Fiction, the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, and the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature. Additionally, she became the first black African woman to make the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize (in 2013) and made The New York Times’ 2013 Notable Books of the Year list, as well as National Public Radio’s “Great Reads of 2013.”

We Need New Names is only the second work of fiction chosen for the University’s Common Reading since the program began in 2004. The first, How to Be Good by Nick Hornby, was SMU’s Common Reading selection in 2007.

Past SMU Common Reading books also include Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (2004), Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2005), The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (2006), The Devil’s Highway by Luís Alberto Urrea (2008), Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama (2009), Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (2010), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2011), The Big Short by Michael Lewis (2012), and The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore (2013).

The Common Reading Selection Committee is now seeking leaders for the pre-Convocation reading discussion. Discussion leaders will receive a free copy of the book. Active and emeritus professors from all SMU schools are invited to take part, as well as University staff members.

To volunteer as a discussion leader, or for more information on this year’s selection, contact Diana Grumbles, 214-768-3832.

> Learn more from SMU’s Common Reading homepage: smu.edu/commonreading

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Thomas DiPiero named SMU’s new Dedman College dean

Thomas DiPiero, June 2014-1The next dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is a multidisciplinary scholar whose academic interests range from French literature to the psychoanalysis of race and gender.

Thomas DiPiero has been named to lead the largest of SMU’s seven colleges and schools, as well as to professorships in the Departments of English and World Languages and Literatures. He will join the University on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014.

Currently, DiPiero is dean of humanities and interdisciplinary studies in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering and professor of French and of Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York. He replaces William Tsutsui, who resigned in May to become president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

DiPiero received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Romance studies from Cornell University, in 1984 and 1988 respectively. He earned a B.A. degree in French and an M.A. in Romance languages and literatures from The Ohio State University in 1978 and 1980.

“I am honored and exhilarated to have been named dean of Dedman College,” DiPiero said. “Dedman College is the academic heart of SMU, home to world-class, innovative teaching and research about the natural world, its people, their creations and institutions. The college’s departments, programs, and centers are leading the way in creating new knowledge and new fields of inquiry, and I am tremendously eager to work with faculty, students, and staff to extend the intellectual boundaries of our work and the geographic reaches of our discoveries.”

“I am excited about Dedman College’s future under the leadership of Dr. DiPiero,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The College, which is the heart of an SMU education, will benefit from his interdisciplinary approach to the humanities and sciences, as well as from his passion for research and teaching. He’s a great fit for Dedman College and for SMU.”

“Dr. DiPiero has an outstanding reputation for working across boundaries to bring the humanities and sciences together,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He also established a strong record of promoting both graduate and undergraduate students during his time at the University of Rochester. The students of Dedman College and the broader University will be well served by his leadership and experience.”

Ludden also expressed thanks to Peter Moore, senior associate dean and associate dean for academic affairs in Dedman College, for serving as interim dean during the search. “Dr. Moore is a consummate professional, and his work in an interim role is helping Dedman College maintain its momentum as we prepare for Dr. DiPiero’s arrival.”

DiPiero is the author or co-editor of three books: White Men Aren’t (Duke University Press, 2002); Illicit Sex: Identity Politics in Early Modern Europe, edited with Pat Gill (University of Georgia Press, 1997); and Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel 1569-1791 (Stanford University Press, 1992). He served as editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) from 2005-13, and has written several book chapters, as well as numerous journal articles.

DiPiero previously served as a visiting faculty member at SMU-in-Taos in 2011 and as a guest lecturer for SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series in 2008.

“Tom DiPiero will bring a superb combination of gifts to his new position as dean of Dedman College,” said William Lawrence, dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and search committee chair. “He has excelled as an interdisciplinary and international leader in higher education, with creative initiatives in the sciences as well as the humanities. Our search committee was tremendously impressed with his qualifications, and we are thrilled with his appointment.”

Dedman College has 307 full-time faculty members, including 19 endowed professorships. About half of SMU’s undergraduates pursue majors in Dedman College through 39 baccalaureate degree programs, and minors in more than 50 areas. Nineteen graduate programs in Dedman College lead to a master’s degree, and 13 programs lead to a doctor of philosophy degree.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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SMU announces Meadows dean search committee

SMU has announced the members of a search committee to identify candidates for dean of the University’s Meadows School of the Arts. The 19-member committee includes the chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees; the chair and several members of the Executive Board of Meadows School of the Arts; University faculty members; and two Meadows School directors, as well as two Meadows students.

Current Meadows Dean José Antonio Bowen has been named president of Goucher College in the Baltimore area. He will continue his SMU service through June 2014.

David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, will serve as committee chair. In addition to Chard, the Meadows Dean’s Search Committee includes:

  • Linda Pitts Custard, chair of the Meadows Museum Advisory Council and member of the Executive Board and Campaign Steering Committee, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Bess Enloe, former chair of the Executive Board, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Linda Perryman Evans, president and CEO, The Meadows Foundation
  • Melissa Fetter, chair of the Executive Board and member of the Campaign Steering Committee, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Caren Prothro, chair, SMU Board of Trustees

Faculty members (Meadows School of the Arts unless otherwise noted):

  • Rhonda Blair, professor, Division of Theatre
  • Patty Harrington Delaney, associate professor and chair, Division of Dance
  • Hemang Desai, department chair and Robert B. Cullum Professor of Accounting, Cox School of Business
  • Virginia Dupuy, professor of voice, Division of Music
  • Maria Dixon Hall, associate professor and director of Mustang Consulting, Division of Communication Studies
  • Pamela Elrod Huffman, associate professor and director of choral activities, Division of Music
  • Pamela Patton, professor and chair, Division of Art History
  • Tony Pederson, professor and The Belo Foundation Endowed Distinguished Chair, Division of Journalism
  • Jay Sullivan, professor, Division of Art

Administrators:

  • Mark Roglán, Linda P. and William A. Custard Director and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, Meadows Museum
  • Kris Vetter, assistant dean for development and external affairs, Meadows School of the Arts

Students:

  • Adrian Aguirre, dance performance and film major
  • Katie Schaible, dance performance and international studies major
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