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Art History to Host Celebration of Life and Career of Dr. Karl Kilinski II, Mar. 4 2011 in Greer Garson Theatre

University Distinguished Teaching Professor Died January 6, 2011 after long, courageous battle with cancer


On Friday, March 4th from 9:15-10:30 a.m. in Meadows' Greer Garson Theater, Art History will celebrate the life and career of Dr. Karl Kilinski II. All are welcome.

Dr. Karl Kilinski II, University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art History at SMU, died on January 6, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Kilinski was one of SMU’s most beloved teachers, described consistently by students as “inspiring,” “passionate,” and “brilliant.”

Born in New Orleans, La., Kilinski came to SMU in 1976 after completing a Ph.D. in classical art and archaeology at the University of Missouri. He taught classes on the visual culture of Egypt and Greece informed by his experiences as a land and underwater archaeologist; Research Fellow at the American School of Classical studies in Athens; and board member of the Society for the Preservation of Greek Heritage. His dynamic lectures attracted students from almost every department at SMU, and dozens of life-long learners from the Dallas/Fort Worth community.

A specialist in Greek vase painting, Kilinski published widely in scholarly journals and authored monographs on The Flight of Icarus through Western Art (2002) and Boetian Black Figure Vase Painting of the Archaic Period (1990). The Presence of the Past: Greek Myth in Western Art, the culmination of a decade-long research and teaching project that engaged several generations of M.A. students in art history, was just accepted for publication by Cambridge University Press.

Kilinski also served as guest curator for several exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum and SMU’s Meadows Museum; held visiting appointments at DIS in Copenhagen and Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan; and was the recipient of summer grants from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation.

Kilinski was a model of university service. In addition to the hundreds of hours devoted to his classes and scholarship, he made time to serve twice as chair of the art history department; teach regularly for SMU’s MLA program; and serve on SMU’s Faculty Advisory Board for International Studies, Council of General Education, and the Meadows Executive Council and Academic Policies Committee. Kilinski’s dedication was recognized through numerous honors including SMU’s Outstanding Professor Award, two Author’s Awards from the Godbey Lecture Series, and his induction into SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

He is survived by his partner Gunnie Corbett; brother, Robert Kilinski and Linda Cooke; niece, Anna Kilinski; nephews, Steve Kilinski, his wife, Jessica and their children, Roman and Connor; Kenneth Kilinski; cousin, Jinna Gutches, her husband Bill and their children, Shaun and Scott Calliham; Gunnie’s family, Bradford Corbett Jr., his wife Jennifer and their children, Ford and Turner Corbett; Pamela Corbett Murrin and her children, Carlotta and Stephen Olav Murrin; and Todd Corbett and his wife Tessa.

Contributions can be made to The Karl Kilinski II Fund, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750281, Dallas, TX 75275-0281.

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