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New Gift Permanently Funds Distinguished Art History Series
To ensure an enduring voice for the art which is his passion, Washington College Art History Professor Emeritus Robert Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, have made a special gift arrangement that will permanently fund the Janson-La Palme Distinguished Lecture in European Art History. Their significant charitable gift and its income will also periodically support exhibitions at the Kohl Gallery. It is, he says, the best expression of his and Bayly’s continuing attachment and commitment to Washington College and Chestertown.
“When I came here in 1969 there was no art department,” says Janson-La Palme. “I was trying to build an interest in art history, and from the beginning I had the idea to reach outward to the community, as well as to build an art department.” The lecture’s permanent support will help sustain that original vision.
Widely respected as an art historian with degrees from Princeton and Brown, Janson-La Palme retired in 1996 after 26 years at the College. Eight years later, in 2004, he and his wife established the lecture series by funding it annually. The series brings internationally known scholars on Western European art to the campus; among its recent speakers have been the director of the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Chairman of the Department of European Paintings.
Dr. Janson-La Palme and his wife wished to make the lecture funding permanent “because it has been very well-attended and rewarding,” he says. From the outset seeking “the best people in art history,” the lecture series has been “an inspiration to the students, and it raises the status of the department and the whole program.”
It’s also a continuing reflection of the Janson-La Palmes’ commitment to the wider community where they have been engaged in the Chestertown Historic District Commission, the Kent Country Historical Society, and the Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning.
“This gift is a wonderful testimony to the love our faculty have of the College,” says Barbara H. Heck, Senior Associate Vice President for College Advancement. “It speaks volumes about the commitment of our faculty. It’s something to celebrate.”