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Richard R Brettell
Professor-Arts & Humanities
Office MailstopJO 5.404, Room No.: 5.404 
Email Address  Richard.Brettell@utdallas.edu    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
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 DegreeMajorInstitutionYear
 Ph.D.History of ArtYale University1977
 B.A. Yale University1973
 M.A. Yale University1971
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
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Areas of Specialization
  • 19th- and 20th-century visual representation: mechanical, assisted, and handmade; the history of art museums and of private collecting in capitalist societies; visual "translation" of texts; artists as writers; 19th- and 20th-century architecture.
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
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  YearPublication  Type
2010
PISSARROS PEOPLE, THE HUMAN FIGURE AND IMPRESSIONISM, The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, with the Clark Art Institute, Fall 2010, Book by Richard Brettell, published by Yale University Press
Book
2010
Catalogue by Richard Brettell and CD Dickerson, Yale University Press. IMPRESSIONISM AND ECOLOGY: Art and Nature in Third Republic France The Vitttoriano, Rome, Spring 2010, Catalogue by Richard Brettell and Stephen Eisenman, published by Skira, Milan.
Book
2009
EUROPEAN PAINTING (1800-1950) IN THE ROBERT LEHMAN COLLECTION (with Paul Tucker and Natalie H. Lee), The Metropolitan Museum, Princeton University Press, 2009
Book
2009
FROM THE HOMES OF TEXAS, Private Collecting of European Art in Texas, 1900-2009, The Kimbell Art Museum, November, 2009
Book
2007
GAUGUIN: ARTIST OF MYTH AND DREAM Stephen Eisenman and Richard Brettell, Skira, Geneva and Milan, 2007 (English and Italian Editions)
Book
Collapse Section Expand Section Affiliations
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Professional Affiliations
Chairman (1990) and Member, The United States Federal Indemnity Panel, 1987-1990
The Getty Grant Program, Publication Committee, 1987-1991
The American Association of Museum Directors 1988-93
The Elizabethan Club
The Phelps Association
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
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DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2009-2009Visiting Scholar  The Clark Art Institute
1999-PresentAmerican Director  FRAME, French Regional & American Museum Exchange
1998-PresentMargaret McDermott Distinguished ChairArt and Aesthetics The University of Texas at Dallas
1996-2000Visiting Scholar  The Clark Art Institute
1995-1995Visiting Professor, Fine Arts  Harvard University
1994-1994Visiting Professor, The History of Art  Yale University
1992-PresentIndependent Art Historian and Museum Consultant   
1985-1985Visiting Instructor  Northwestern University
1985-1985Visiting Fellow  The Getty Museum
1982-1988Adjunct Professor of Art History  The University of Chicago
1980-1988Searle Curator of European Painting  The Art Institute of Chicago
1976-1980Academic Program Director/Assistant Professor, Art HistoryArt Department The University of Texas, Austin
 News Articles
Art Expert to Lead Discussion on Private Collecting
UT Dallas News Center

As part of a new series of community-centered events, the UT Dallas Development Board is hosting a presentation titled, “The Art of Private Collecting – The Texas Experience,” with Dr. Richard Brettell, Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas.
 
Brettell will share insights from his book From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Thursday, April 14 at the Dallas Museum of Art Horchow Auditorium. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
 
Brettell founded the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums at UT Dallas in 1998. A Professor of Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas, Brettell’s expertise encompasses impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930. He earned his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University, and his museum experience includes serving as the Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art and Searle Curator of European Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Prof to Share Impressionism Expertise Abroad
UT Dallas News Center
Dr. Richard R. Brettell, professor of art and aesthetic studies, has been awarded the 2011 Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History of Art at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
 
Brettell, who holds the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair in Art and Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas, will give a lecture series at Cambridge titled, Is There Anything Left to Say About Impressionism? The series will include three lectures and one symposium between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

French Cultural Award Honors Prof’s Museum Work
UT Dallas News Center

Rick Brettell, Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetics at The University of Texas at Dallas, has received a commandeur certificate from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters).

The award is the most prestigious of its type in France.  The honor is conferred on no more than 20 people per year. 
 
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established in 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. Its purpose is to recognize significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. 

Prof is Uniquely Qualified for Talks on Impressionism
UT Dallas News Center

Art enthusiasts are invited to experience the history of the Impressionist collection visiting the Kimbell Art Museum from UT Dallas chaired professor Richard Brettell, the man who helped build it.

n honor of The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, an exhibit currently at the Kimbell in Fort Worth, Dr. Brettell will give two public lectures on private collectors of French avant-garde painting.
 
The presentations will be at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7 and 14, in the Davidson Auditorium at the UT Dallas School of Management.
The Art Institute’s Impressionist collection, which has never before left Chicago in such a large group, is on display at the Kimbell through Nov. 2.
The lectures will focus on renowned Chicago collectors Bertha Palmer, Frederick Clay Bartlett and Martin Ryerson.

Illuminating the Legacy of ‘The Painter of Light’
UT Dallas News Center

UT Dallas art and aesthetics professor Richard Brettell will provide an expert overview of paintings by landscape master  J.M.W. Turner in a McDermott Library Lecture Series  presentation Monday, March 24.

The lecture, titled “Reviewing a Blockbuster: The Turner Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art,” is scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m. in McDermott Library Auditorium (MC 2.410). The dicussion is free and open to the public. The artist, known as “the painter of light,” is regarded as the most prominent English Romantic landscape artist and one of the greatest in the history.
 
About 140 works by Turner (1775-1851) are on display through May 18 at the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas. This showing is the largest and most comprehensive Turner retrospective ever presented in the U.S.

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 Additional Information
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Awards and Honors
Web Link

Commandeur certificate from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters)


Permanent Collections
  • THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAS,
    • The Dallas Museum of Art, 1993
  • THE PRITZKER GALLERIES OF EUROPEAN ART 1300-1900
    • The Art Institute of Chicago 1987

Temporary Exhibitions
  • THE PURSUIT OF QUALITY:EUROPEAN MASTER PANTINGS ABD SCULPTURES IN TEXAS COLLECTORS, 1900 - 2000
    • The Kimbell Art Museum, Fall 2009, Catalogue by Richard Brettell and CD Dickerson to be published by Yale University Press.
  • PAYSAGES D’EAU: MONET 'S WATER LANDSCAPES
    • The Vitttoriano, Rome, Spring 2010, Catalogue by Richard Brettell and Stephen Eisenman, published by Skira, Milan.
  • PISSARRO’S PEOPLE, THE HUMAN FIGURE AND IMPRESSIONISM
    • The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, with the Clark Art Institute, Fall 2010, Book by Richard Brettell, published by Yale University Press
  • MONET IN NORMANDY
    • The North Carolina Museum of Art, San Francisco De Young Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, February 18 - May 20, 2007
  • GAUGUIN AND IMPRESSIONISM
    • Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark and Richard R. Brettell, Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen, Denmark August 30 - November 20, 2005, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX December 18, 2005 - March 26, 2006
  • THE IMPRESSIONIST IN THE CITY: PISSARRO'S SERIES
    • Dallas Museum of Art, 1992
  • GEORGIA O'KEEFFE
    • The Dallas Museum of Art, 1988
  • FRANCE IN THE GOLDEN AGE
    • The Art Institute of Chicago, 1983
  • THE GOLDEN AGE OF NAPLES, ART AND CIVILIZATION UNDER THE BOURBONS 1982
    • The Art Institute of Chicago,

Architectural Programs
  • The Hamon Building,
    • The Dallas Museum of Art, 1988-90
  • The McKinney Avenue Contemporary,
    • Dallas Texas, completed, Fall, 1994
  • Origins of the Southwest Museum
    • An Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, Arlington, Texas (unrealized)
  • The Portland Art Museum
    • Portland, Oregon (opened in stages 1999-2000)
  • The Crow Collection of Asian Art
    • Dallas, Texas (opened, 1998)

Scholarly Lectures Given at
  • The American Psychoanalytic Association, The Amon Carter Museum, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sidney, Australia,The Art Institute of Chicago, The Ashmolean Museum, The Auckland City Art Gallery, The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Bruce Museum of Art, Greenwich, CT, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Colby College, The Courtauld Institute, London, Dallas Architecture Forum, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Denver Art Museum, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, The Fred Jones Jr. Museum at The University of Oklahoma, The Frick Museum, Harvard University, Highland Park Christian Scientist Church, Dallas, TX, Highland Park Methodist Church, Dallas, TX, Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX, The Hirshorn Museum, The J.Paul Getty Museum, The Kimbell Museum, Lee Park Garden Lectures Series, Dallas, TX, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The MAC, Mc Kinney Contemporary Art Center, Dallas, TX, The Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, The Metropolitan Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, The Musée du Louvre, The Musée d'Orsay, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The National Gallery of Scotland, The North Carolina Museum of Art, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Oakland Museum, The Old Jail Museum, Albany, TX, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philbrook Museum, The Polk Museum, The Royal Academy, The Singapore Art Museum, Texas Association of Museums, The University of California, Los Angeles, The University of California- Santa Barbara, The University of Illinois, The University of Michigan, The University of New Mexico, The University of Texas, Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Wisconsin, The van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Wichita Art Museum, Yale University.

Selected Projects:
  • Consulting Curator, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee
  • The Tandy Lecturer in American Civilization, The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth
  • Consulting Curator, Sara Lee Corporation, Chicago, Il.
  • President, The Brettell Seminars, An Experiment in Private Education
  • Lecturer, The Teaching Company, Chantilly, Va.
  • Director and Founder, FRAME French Regional & American Museum Exchange
  • Coordinator and Founder, The International Coalition of House Museums

Personal Statement

Richard Brettell is among the foremost authorities in the world on Impressionism and French Painting of the period 1830-1930. With three degrees from Yale University, he has taught at The University of Texas, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, Yale University, and Harvard University and is currently Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetics in the Interdisciplinary Program in Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is also an international museum consultant with projects in Europe, Asia, and the United States. He established the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums at UT Dallas. 

In 1980, Dr. Brettell was appointed Searle Curator of European Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1988, he became the McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA). Since leaving the DMA, Dr. Brettell has been involved with the purchase of the M. H.W. Ritchie Collection for the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, with the building and renovation program of the Portland Museum of Art (Oregon), and with the Millennium Gift of the Sara Lee Collection, for which the company won the National Medal for the Arts in 1999. He is Senior Advisor for International Art for the National Gallery of Australia and is working with Professor Stephen Eisenman of Northwestern University to catalogue the collection of 19th and 20th century French Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. 

Dr. Brettell worked with Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn, former Ambassador to France, and Françoise Cachin, former Director of the French National Museums, to create FRAME (French/Regional/American Museum Exchange). Dr. Brettell has established at UT Dallas the American office of FRAME, a coalition of 24 regional museums in both countries. 

Dr. Brettell is actively engaged with architecture in Dallas, as a board member and founding president of the Dallas Architecture Forum, as a Consultant to Philip Johnson for The Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, and as curator of an exhibition devoted to "Five Dallas Modern Architects" for UT Dallas in January/February 2002. This exhibition has traveled to the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas in Austin, and the University of Houston. He has published architectural criticism, including "Beyond the Golden Age: Three New Art Museums for Texas" in Southwest Review (Vol. 87, no. 4) and "Lost in Translation: Ando's Building for The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth" for CITE: A Quarterly publication of the Rice Design Alliance. 


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