Marion Dean Ross: Legacy of a Scholar Exhibit Case
We are the Marion Dean Ross, Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. A select few of our group remember encounters with Professor Ross, but to many of us he is a shadowy figure. The University of Oregon is in the process of celebrating his legacy with an exhibit currently on display in the Knight Library on the University of Oregon Campus, Marion Dean Ross: Legacy of a Scholar.
Twenty years ago, newspapers in the region announced with surprise a major gift to the University of Oregon. As the Register Guard reported: “The gift comes from a man who never married, had no known family at the time of his death, and who never owned a car or home, preferring to rent an apartment within walking distance of campus.” That man was Marion Dean Ross, a professor of art history at UO from 1947 to 1978. Ross’s bequest gave the university over one million dollars for the acquisition of library material and enabled the establishment of an endowed chair for art history.
This exhibit commemorates the contributions of Ross as a respected teacher, scholar, and benefactor. In addition to information about him, the exhibit features models created by Ross’s students, images from books acquired through the Ross endowment, and images taken by Ross himself. The exhibit uses QR codes to access more information, so take your phone. A digitized recording of a 1988 lecture by Ross is a special treat.
Our Chapter President, Ed Teague has been instrumental in organizing this celebration, and in his capacity as the head of the UO Architecture and Allied Arts Library has been closely involved with the books acquired with Marion Dean Ross’ bequest. The preceding text is his from his announcement of the exhibit opening.
In conjunction with the celebration of Marion Dean Ross’ legacy, the University of Oregon Department of Art History sponsored a lecture on Professor Ross by Dr. Leland Roth, Professor Emeritus and the first Marion Dean Ross Distinguished Chair in Architectural History. His answer to my title query? Marion Dean Ross: A Man Who Left a Hole in the Water.
Leland Roth’s lecture is available from the UO Channel for streaming viewing or download at:
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