Detail of Henry Varnum Poor’s Land-Grant Frescoes, Old Main, Penn State, 1948-49.

The annual Dickson Memorial Lecture Series in Art History brings leading scholars in art history to Penn State to share their latest research and meet with students.

The Dickson Memorial Lecture Series in Art History was established in 2011. Dr. Dickson was one of the founders of Art History at Penn State. He graduated from Penn State College in 1922, with a degree in architectural engineering. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. While he was pursuing his graduate degrees at Harvard, he was teaching at Penn State, beginning in 1923 with the title of “instructor of watercolor.” Art History began at Penn State as a one-credit “Art Appreciation” course, which developed into a very popular single course, and eventually a department.

This lecture series is made possible by a generous endowment created by the late Mary Neilly of State College. Mrs. Neilly graduated from Penn State in 1947 with a degree in journalism. Two years later, when she was managing editor for the Penn State Alumni Association, she took an art history course from Dr. Harold E. Dickson (1900-87). She never forgot this course and its extraordinary professor. By creating an endowed lectureship in art history for visiting scholars she established a very worthy memorial to an exceptional teacher and scholar, Professor Dickson.

The next lecture series is Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6pm in 112 Borland.

“Deconstructing and Constructing: The Fatimid Treasury around 1100”

A Lecture by Dr. Avinoam Shalem

Riggio Professor of the History of the Arts of Islam, Columbia University

[Introduced by Dr. Anthony Cutler]

For more information on the Harold E. Dickson Memorial Lecture Series in Art History click here.

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