School of art

School Notes: School of Art
September/October 2017

Marta Kuzma |

Richard Benson: in memory

The School of Art community was deeply saddened by the recent death of Richard Benson, former Yale University professor and dean of the Yale School of Art from 1996 to 2006.

Benson, more commonly known among friends as “Chip,” was the recipient of numerous honors, including two publication grants from the National Endowment of the Arts; two Guggenheim fellowships; the Rhode Island governor’s Medal for the Arts; and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. His work is located within the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York’s MoMA, and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, among others.

Upon Benson’s retirement from Yale, School of Art professor emeritus Tod Papageorge noted in his tribute to Benson, “He’s a special kind, the sort that reminds us that the words genius and genial share a common root. For who here doesn’t understand that Benson’s great good nature is at the core of his ability to accomplish so much in so many different ways?” (Read the Yale Alumni Magazine report on Benson.)

Shepherding 40 years of MFA students

After nearly 40 years in her role as director of academic affairs, Patricia DeChiara retired from the School of Art on July 31. Pat worked with five deans starting with Andrew Forge in the early 1980s, and was thrilled to be able to welcome the school’s first woman dean, Marta Kuzma, in 2016. Over her career Pat admitted and shepherded over 2,200 students through the MFA program, as well as supporting faculty, including Robert Reed, whom she considered a dear friend and whose named classroom dedication she helped organize this past May. Pat shares that although she is looking forward to traveling more extensively with her family and increasing her volunteer activities, she will deeply miss working with the wonderful students, faculty, and staff who have made her career so rewarding.

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