| Gregory Amenoff|
Columbia University has appointed renowned artist Gregory Amenoff as the inaugural Eve and Herman Gelman Professor of the Visual Arts in the School of the Arts.
Amenoff, a professor of art in Columbia's School of the Arts' Visual Arts Division, is a widely respected painter and printmaker, known for working in the tradition of organic abstraction. His works are rooted in landscapes, both remembered and imagined, and are often inspired by the geographies of Cape Cod , New Mexico and the Umbria region of Italy.
The newly established chair is a result of a generous donation from the estate of Columbia University alumna Ellen Gelman, SOA'64, who died in March of 2002. For more than two decades, Gelman was an associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Maryland , yet she maintained strong ties with her alma mater. For instance, in fall 2000, she instituted the popular Eve and Herman Gelman Studio Visit Series, in which New York City artists, such as Leon Golub, Alexis Rockman and Sarah Sze, open their studios to SOA students to observe and discuss works in progress. She also endowed the program.
The chair honors Ellen Gelman's parents, Eve and Herman Gelman, who are deceased. In addition, her estate also has created the Ellen Gelman Endowed Fellowship Fund, which will grant at least half the cost of tuition to an SOA graduate student, with preference given to those studying painting. The studio program will continue.
"The generosity of Ellen Gelman and the trustees of her estate as well as their commitment to the visual arts will benefit Columbia University and its students for generations to come," said Bruce W. Ferguson, dean of Columbia's School of the Arts. "Ellen was a sensitive person whose life was devoted to the arts, which is why it is so appropriate that the Gelman name will live on at the University in this professorship and programs."
Commenting on Amenoff's appointment, Ferguson said, "Gregory is a brilliant artist and stellar educator with a strong dedication to his students, which make him the ideal person to fill this chair. I am delighted that he will hold this new position at the School of the Arts."
Jon Kessler , chair of the Visual Arts Division, said, "Gregory Amenoff is one of the University's greatest assets. For the past 10 years, he has helped form an M.F.A. program that has become one of the country's best. As director of undergraduate studies, he has advised and taught the majors, concentrators and the dual majors. He's a great artist, highly respected in his field and loved by his students. He's an excellent choice for this prestigious position."
Amenoff's work is on display across the United States and Europe, and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA); The Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Museum of American Art, Washington; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. In addition, he participated in the 1981 and 1985 Whitney Biennials, the 1984 MOMA International Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture and the 40th Anniversary of Corcoran Biennial of Contemporary American Painting.
The National Endowment for the Arts has repeatedly honored Amenoff, and he was granted an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by Massachusetts College of Fine Arts. Since 2001, he has served as president of the National Academy of Design and is a director and curatorial general of the CUE Art Foundation.