in Houston has announced a $10 million grant from the , also in Houston, for a new doctoral program in art history. The grant will be used to fund graduate fellowships and expand a research partnership with the (MFAH) and the .
The new program, which will combine the faculty in Rice's art history department with scholar-curators from the Menil and MFAH, will enroll and engage twenty-five students in research with the two museums. As visiting professors, museum curators will teach courses and serve as thesis readers for the program.
While Rice's art history doctoral program will benefit the museums by providing them with scholars and research to help develop their collections, the scholars also will challenge the museums to continue to rethink emerging areas of importance in the arts, such as photography and Latin American and American art. In addition, the partners hope the program will expand Houston's reputation as an artistic hub, as graduates go on to become teachers and curators nationwide and inform others of the city's wealth of artistic offerings or remain in Houston and become a part of its community of gallery owners, museum educators, donors, independent scholars, and professors.
"This [grant] endorses the efforts of the MFAH, the Menil, and Rice to build a bold, innovative research program in art history and theory," said Rice dean of humanities Gary Wihl. "With the presence of doctoral students in the museums and the combined strengths of our faculty and the museums' scholar-curators, we can look forward to publications on art that will match the range and depth of Houston's unique art collections."