Dr. David Craven, Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History

February 27, 2012

Dr. David Lee Craven, Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History, passed away on February 11, 2012.

As Carolyn Gonzales wrote in the UNMToday article which was published upon Dr. Craven's passing: "Craven joined the UNM faculty in the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Fine Arts in 1993, and attained the rank of Distinguished Faculty in 2007. Prior, he taught at the State University of New York, where he was a full professor. He also taught at Duke University and served as a visiting lecturer, professor or scholar-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Universität zu Bremen, Trinity College in Dublin, Collegium Budapest, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas in Mexico, University of Leeds and the Blanton Art Museum at the University of Texas at Austin."

"Craven was a NEH Post-doctoral Fellow in Art History at Princeton after earning his doctorate in Art History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1979. He earned a master's in Art History from Vanderbilt University in 1974 and earned his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Mississippi in 1972, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude."

"Fluent in Spanish, German and French, Craven traveled the world as a visiting professor to give lectures in more than 100 universities and museums in the U.S. and internationally including Russia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, England and France. He was preparing for the publication in 2012 of six new articles on art history subjects in the United States, Mexico and England when he died."

Many who were familiar with his work at UNM and elsewhere recognized Craven not only as a prolific researcher who generated excellent scholarship, but also as someone who actually managed to "walk the talk" by expressing his work in the classroom and in the community. His work as a researcher and writer led to international recognition and prestigious awards, including the UNM Regent's Professorship. His work was profound and accessible to specialists and non-specialists alike.

The impact that his passing has had on the UNM community reflects the intense and enduring nature of his interactions with the field and with those around him. He operated at the intersection of various humanities and social science fields in a way that enabled him to contribute to a range of literatures to advance an understanding of important historical and contemporary social events. Paired with his profound commitment to making the world a better place, this approach led him to produce world-changing contributions to the literature, to the scholarly community, to UNM, and to the world writ large.

Craven's support of and involvement with the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) were indispensable in making UNM a leader in Latin American studies and programs. At the memorial service held for him on February 17, 2012, Susan Tiano, Director of the LAII, observed that the LAII staff and broader community will be "eternally grateful to him for his high standards, his creative contributions, his tremendous commitment and unflagging energy."