Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Andrew Ladis (1949-2007)

The Red & Black has an article:

Art historian, professor dies after battling cancer
Posted: 12/5/07
Editor's Note: This artice was written by Bonnie Ramsey, director of communications at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Andrew Ladis, 58, a distinguished art historian and member of the University faculty, died Dec. 2 at St. Mary's Hospice in Athens after a long battle with cancer.

At the time of his death, Ladis was the Franklin Professor of Art History at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, a position he held for more than a decade.

A specialist in the painting of the early Italian Renaissance, he played a prominent role in international scholarship in the field, writing or serving as general editor of 14 books and producing many articles and published lectures.

Ladis was the recipient of several international awards and appointments.

"Ladis was one of the world's most distinguished historians of early Italian art. At the center of his scholarly life was an enduring passion for Giotto di Bondone, the founder of the Florentine school," said Hayden B.J. Maginnis from Canada's McMaster University.

Ladis was born on Jan. 30, 1949, in Athens, Greece, the son of Thomas and Marina Ladis.

He attended the University of Virginia, receiving a bachelor's degree in history in 1970. He transferred to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. four years later.

He later expand his dissertation on the Italian painter into his first book, "Taddeo Gaddi: A Critical Review and Catalogue Raisonné," published in 1983 and constituted the first sustained study of that artist in the English language.

He arrived at the University of Georgia in 1987 and remained for the rest of his career, except for a year at the University of Memphis, where he held the Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in Art History, and two stints as a fellow and visiting professor at Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti in Florence.

Gina Binkley, an Austin Peay student who kept up with Ladis for decades, said she remembered him as "an incredibly generous and loving teacher: positive, encouraging, interested in whatever you were able to accomplish and eager to share his knowledge. I can't remember him ever making a negative comment."

In October he received an award for distinguished teaching from the Southeast College Art Conference, and in 2006 the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art honored him with a lifetime achievement award for service to the community.

Andrew Ladis is survived by William Underwood Eiland, his partner of 37 years, currently the director of the Georgia Museum of Art; by his sister, Maria White Davis; and by friends, colleagues and students whose lives he enriched. Memorial gifts may be made to the UGA Foundation (394 S. Milledge Ave., Athens 30602) for the benefit of the Andrew Ladis European Travel Scholarship at the Lamar Dodd School of Art.

A memorial celebration will be held Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. at the University Chapel with a reception at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Also, from the Athens Banner Herald:

Friends, colleagues mourn death of art professor Ladis
University of Georgia
By Julie Phillips | | Story updated at 1:30 PM on Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nationally renowned art historian and beloved University of Georgia art professor Andrew Ladis died Sunday morning from cancer. He was 58.

For more than a decade, Ladis served as Franklin Professor of Art History at UGA's Lamar Dodd School of Art. He was a specialist in early Italian Renaissance painting, traveling the world to offer his expertise in lecture halls and galleries, museums and universities.

"People all over the world, Italy, England, wherever you'd go, would say, 'University of Georgia, isn't that where Andrew Ladis is?' " said Shelley Zuraw, area chair of art history at UGA.

Ladis' career also included many awards and appointments. In 2002, President Bush named him to the National Council for the Humanities, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment. Ladis published numerous essays, articles and reviews and authored or edited 14 books.

A beloved figure at the Georgia Museum of Art, in 2006 Ladis was honored by the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art for his service to the institution. William U. Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art, was Ladis' partner for 37 years.

People across campus and the museum mourned Ladis this week.

"His students loved him and loved his class — they came away from it with a love for the art and a love for talking about the art; they felt they were enlightened and elevated, as opposed to my students who feel it's all work," Zuraw said, laughing through tears.

"I cannot tell you what a loss this is," said Bonnie Ramsey, director of communications for the museum. "He was the kindest and gentlest person, thoughtful, witty, admired by everyone who met him, and humble beyond belief."

"It's even hard to put into words how much he helped us with his vast knowledge of Renaissance art as well as American art, which was another interest of his," said Annelies Mondi, GMOA deputy director.

"He was a mentor," Zuraw added, "but beyond that, I can not emphasize enough that he was first rate at every juncture. He always looked for the best person to take a position. He held the entire area's feet to the fire and for that was an inspiration and a model for the rest of the school."

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