Diane Kirkpatrick (1933-2023)
She was Professor Emerita of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, where she taught Modern and Contemporary Art from 1968 until her retirement in 2000. Diane was an engaged and supportive presence in the History of Art Department for many decades. She served as chair more than once, and her photo collection of more than 11,000 images of modern and contemporary art (many of them shot by Diane) became part of our visual resources collection.
She graduated with a BA from Vassar College in 1955 and earned her MFA from Cranbrook Academy in 1957. Thereafter, Kirkpatrick worked as a freelance photographer until the early 1960s. She returned to school in 1963, first as an international student at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and later as a graduate student at the University of Michigan, where she received her Ph.D. in the History of Art in 1969. Among other museum collaborations, Kirkpatrick served as guest curator of The Fair View: Representations of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in 1993 at the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. Kirkpatrick published widely in the field of art, including a monograph on the Scottish sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi in 1969, and she served as a co-editor and co-author of the book series Gardner’s Art Through the Ages in 1990. After her retirement, she continued to conduct research as an independent scholar, and in 2009 published a book on the art of Sonia Landy Sheridan.
A memorial will be held at Nie Funeral Home, 3767 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Sunday, September 24 from 1:00-2:00 pm.
For more information about her memorial visit the Nie Funeral Home website.
To learn more about this amazing woman view a six-minute video of Prof. Kirkpatrick as she remembers her “unplanned life."