Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History

University of Texas at Dallas

The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History is a center for innovative research and graduate education in the history of art. Research and teaching at the O’Donnell Institute focus on artworks held in Dallas-Fort Worth collections, which together open onto a history of art that ranges across geography, chronology, and medium.

The first art history research institute founded in the digital age, the O’Donnell Institute explores in particular the intersection between the visual arts and the sciences and technology.

As a center for the growing community of art historians, curators, and practicing artists in Dallas and Fort Worth, we are dedicated to intellectual creativity, exchange, and collaboration in the form of lectures and symposia, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations with area institutions.


The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History was founded at The University of Texas at Dallas in Fall 2014 with a generous endowment from arts patron Edith O’Donnell. Dr. Richard Brettell is the Founding Director.

In our first year, the O’Donnell Institute appointed a Distinguished Chair in Conservation Science, made a joint appointment with the Dallas Museum of Art in Islamic Art, completed construction of offices at UT Dallas and the DMA, convened a group of ten research fellows to pursue projects ranging from Byzantine icons to Courbet’s landscapes, and collaborated with the Dallas Museum of Art and other area institutions to present symposia, exhibitions, and publications.

In Fall 2015 The State of Texas matched Mrs. O’Donnell’s lead endowment.

America United States South West
Institution type
Foreign Institutions Universities and university institutes