Department Chair and Professor Meredith J. Gill Retires

On June 30th, Professor Meredith J. Gill, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department, retired after a distinguished career in the field. During her service to the Department, Professor Gill devoted herself to serving and improving a wide range of communities. She served a number of years as DIrector of Graduate Studies, a position she absolutely cherished, allowing her to work closely with all members of the graduate community and with Deborah Down. In 2013 Professor Gill was named Chair of the Department, in which position she admirably served until her recent retirement, laying the groundwork for the Department's sustained health and growth.

A specialist in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italian Renaissance Art, Professor Gill is a consummate scholar and teacher.  Of her many substantial publications, perhaps her probing volume on Augustine in Italian Renaissance art and philosophy most dramatically shaped the field. She also wrote the book, literally, on the role of angels and the structure of heaven in Medieval and Renaissance thought and art. During her tenure in the Department, Professor Gill trained a remarkable number of emerging scholars in her and adjacent fields; and she looks forward to devoting time in retirement to her remaining advisees, who doubtless are quite grateful for the extra attention.

Students eagerly sought out Professor Gill's classes, including her always popular Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italian Renaissance Art courses, which regularly boasted oversubscribed seats. In addition to expected field trips to the National Gallery of Art to take advantage of its rich collections, Professor Gill always delighted students with tours of the Sistine Chapel and of Raphael's Stanze in the state-of-the-art screen available in the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture. Further, Professor Gill developed a course for the Honors College - Leonardo and the Science of Art - around the Collaboratory and its visualization capabilities. As a happy result, students developed projects in the space ranging from animating Leonardo's designs for war machines and flying devices to demonstrating the master's anatomical knowledge of the heart, once through a live dissection (of a cadavered pig's heart). In her office Professor Gill proudly displayed many of these students' models and drawings, a testament to several successful iterations of this course.

Steven Mansbach, the department chair who brought Meredith to the department many years ago, and who now is her successor in this position, remarked that “Professor Gill has consistently been the consummate colleague, the perfect professor, and the ideal administrator. Her dedication to scholarship and teaching was equaled by her administrative creativity, her fair-mindedness, and her extraordinary consideration of the needs and concerns of all – faculty, staff, and students. As a result of her conscientious commitment and remarkable care, the Department has achieved recognition within the College and the University, as well as distinction both nationally and internationally, for original scholarship and the training of students.”

Though we are sad to see her go (too soon!) we are happy for Professor Gill and wish her the very best on her next adventure!