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Published: Saturday, 5/18/2013

Dawn Glanz, 1946-2013: Art historian held positions at university

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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BOWLING GREEN — Dawn Glanz, an art historian who taught at Bowling Green State University, where she’d held administrative posts and made her views known on the Faculty Senate and other committees and councils, died May 9 in her home. She was 66.

She’d been dealing with some health problems, but her death was “very sudden and unexpected,” her husband, Robert Brown, said. “This was a shocking surprise.”

After 25 years at BGSU, Ms. Glanz retired in 2003 as an associate professor in the school of art and was named to the emeritus faculty.

“I found her to be very inspiring, and she was a wonderful mentor to me,” said Rebecca Skinner Green, an associate professor of art. “She was very passionate about what she did, and she brought that passion to everything she did — to the classroom, to faculty meetings.”

As a scholar, Ms. Glanz’s specialties included American art of the 19th and 20th centuries, art of western and northern Europe, and modern art. She lectured nationally, in addition to her BGSU teaching duties, and published in professional journals. She was the author of the book, How the West Was Drawn: American Art and the Settling of the Frontier.

To recognize her teaching, research, and service, the Medici Circle — friends and patrons of the BGSU school of art — presented her with three Il Magnifico awards.

Once, when her turn came to teach half of the survey of Western art course, she presented a reverse chronology — modern art to Gothic — just to keep the subject fresh for everyone. A semester-long graduate seminar on portraiture ended with a potluck meal that became its own assignment: Each participant’s food contribution had to be a sel- portrait.

“That kind of thing is brilliant,” Ms. Skinner Green said. “She was making this connection between art history and the personal side. There were students from different disciplines. She was having them think about this idea of portraiture in a creative way.”

Ms. Glanz had been an assistant director of the school of art — and served stints as acting or interim director — and assistant dean for student services in the college of arts and sciences.

In those roles, she was thoughtful about how her actions affected others, Ms. Skinner Green said. “She wasn't just making decisions to make decisions,” Ms. Skinner Green said.

Ms. Glanz had been a director of the interdisciplinary program in American studies and was on the faculty of the BGSU women’s studies program as well.

She served on the Faculty Senate and on its and her college’s budget committees; on graduate and undergraduate councils; on the university’s strategic planning committee. When she had a strong belief, she expressed it, said Clif Boutelle, a longtime friend and retired BGSU director of public relations. And she brought reason to deliberations.

“She was able to cut through a lot of different things,” Mr. Boutelle said. “She brought a level head to issues that the university was facing."

She was born June 9, 1946, in Hollywood, Calif., to Henri Filson and Arthur Henry Glanz and grew up at Manhattan Beach. She made English her undergraduate major after an adviser discouraged her, because she was a woman, from pursuing zoology and math, her husband said. She had a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College.

She received a master’s degree in art history from Columbia University and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She maintained her interest in literature and was a member of the Shakespeare Round Table in Bowling Green.

“She was such a wonderful person to be around because of the breadth of her knowledge,” Mr. Boutelle said.

Her interest in small animals persisted, too, and she had a pet mini rex rabbit, Timmy, which she got from a rescue group, her husband said.

“Dawn was very sensitive to all life,” he said.

Surviving are her husband, Robert A. Brown, whom she married Oct. 10, 2001; stepson, Josh Brown; sister, Gail Lincoln; brother, Filson Glanz, and a grandson.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. June 29 in Simpson Garden Park, Bowling Green. Dunn Funeral Home, Bowling Green, assisted with arrangements. The family suggests tributes to Simpson Garden Park or an organization of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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