May 31, 2012

Karl Kilinski II

A $1.5 million gift from the estate of Karl Kilinski II will establish SMU’s 84th endowed faculty position.

In addition, Kilinski’s personal library of classical materials in the arts and humanities, as well as his research papers, have been donated to Central University Libraries.

The Karl Kilinski II Endowed Chair in Hellenic Visual Culture in the Department of Art History will pay tribute to the work of the archaeologist, art historian and University Distinguished Teaching Professor. He died in 2011 after 30 years on the Meadows School of the Arts faculty.

“We are honored to have an endowed faculty chair bearing the name of one of the University’s most distinguished professors,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This gift supports our Second Century Campaign goal to increase the number of endowed chairs to 100. We are grateful for the generosity and foresight of the late Dr. Kilinski and his family.”

The gift supports the appointment of “a scholar who continues the tradition of interdisciplinary work in Hellenic visual culture embodied in the teaching of Karl Kilinski II and who upholds the standard of scholarly excellence represented in his books.”

Among his published works are The Presence of the Past, Greek Myth in Western Art, Boetian Black Figure Vase Painting of the Archaic Period and The Flight of Icarus through Western Art.

“Karl’s vision in establishing this endowed faculty position will ensure that his interdisciplinary style of teaching and research will continue to engage scholars in study of Hellenic visual culture,” says Gunnie Corbett, Kilinski’s fiancée and executor of his estate. “The chair will be a fitting continuation of his legacy of dedication to his students and others he inspired.”

An internationally known classical scholar, he received numerous honors, including the SMU Outstanding Professor Award and the Godbey Lecture Series Author Award. He was widely published in scholarly journals and led numerous educational tours to the Mediterranean, Turkey, Egypt and Africa. In addition, he held guest curatorships and was a symposium organizer for various museums, including the Meadows Museum.

“Karl Kilinski’s impact on generations of students throughout his illustrious academic career was significant,” says José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “We are indebted to his estate for their gift.”

As an archaeologist, Kilinski participated in both underwater and land excavations in Greece. He was a senior research fellow for the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece; director of academic programs in Greece, Japan and Cairo; board member of The Society for the Preservation of Greek Heritage; and a member of the Ambassador’s Committee of Friends of Greece.