Doctor of Fine Arts

Doctor of Fine Arts (D.F.A.) is doctoral degree in fine arts, may be given as an honorary degree (a degree honoris causa) or an earned professional degree (in the UK).


...Doctoral programmes leading to DFAs are of equivalent level to a PhD, with the same requirement to demonstrate new knowledge, but typically contain a practical component and a more structured programme of learning than a PhD. DFA programmes are offered by universities including University of Hertfordshire and University of East London.

The honorary degree is typically conferred to honor the recipient who has made a significant contribution to society in the arts. Notable individuals who have been conferred the honor include Zamri Zainuddin from Malaysia, Michelle Burton, Frank Stella,[1] Richard Serra,[2] Stephen Colbert,[3] Carmen De Lavallade,[4] Anna Deavere Smith,[4] Jacques d'Amboise,[5] Bill Pullman,[6] Abelardo Morell,[7] Twyla Tharp,[8] Kanye West,[9] Gordon Parks,[10] Jack Nicholson,[11] and Meryl Streep [12]

At Yale University, the DFA is an earned degree conferred on students who hold a Master of Fine Arts degree in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from the Yale School of Drama, and who have "completed MFA qualifying comprehensive examinations, and have written a dissertation of distinction whose subject has been approved by the DFA committee" of faculty.[13]

In 2016 ELIA (European League of the Institutes of the Arts) launched The Florence Principles on the Doctorate in the Arts.[14] The Florence Principles relating to the Salzburg Principles and the Salzburg Recommendations of EUA (European University Association) name seven points of attention to specify the Doctorate / Ph.D. in the Arts compared to a scientific doctorate / Ph.D. The Florence Principles have been endorsed and are supported also by AEC, CILECT, CUMULUS and SAR.

See also


  1. ^ "Frank Stella to Receive Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts - BU Today - Boston University".
  2. ^ Williams College – Commencement – Honorary Degree Citation 2008
  3. ^ "Top 10 Commencement Speeches". 16 May 2009 – via
  4. ^ a b "The Juilliard Journal Online".
  5. ^ "National Dance Institute".
  6. ^ "404 - Page Not Found - Alfred University".
  7. ^ "Artists - James Hyman: Fine Art and Photographs".
  8. ^ "Facts & Figures". Princeton University.
  9. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (11 May 2015). "Kanye West Receives Honorary Doctorate From School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago" – via Huff Post.
  10. ^ Honorary Degrees Awarded by Princeton Archived 2016-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Some Wisdom from Jack... and Binder!" – BlogDailyHerald. June 3, 2011.
  12. ^ "30 celebrities who received doctorate degrees without ever stepping foot in class".
  13. ^ Yale School of Drama Archived May 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
Audrey Flack

Audrey L. Flack (born May 30, 1931 in New York City, New York) is an American artist. Her work pioneered the art genre of photorealism; her work encompasses painting, sculpture, and photography.

Flack has numerous academic degrees, including both a graduate and an honorary doctorate degree from Cooper Union in New York City. Additionally she has a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and attended New York University Institute of Fine Arts where she studied art history. In May 2015, Flack received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Clark University, where she also gave a commencement address.

Flack's work is displayed in several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Flack's photorealist paintings were the first such paintings to be purchased for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, and her legacy as a photorealist lives on to influence many American and International artists today. J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, organized a retrospective of her work, and Flack’s pioneering efforts into the world of photorealism popularized the genre to the extent that it remains today.

Brett Graham

Brett Graham (born 1967) is a New Zealand sculptor who creates large scale artworks and installations that explore indigenous histories, politics and philosophies. Of Ngāti Korokī Kahukura (Maori tribe) and Pakeha (European) descent, Graham was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where he currently resides.His work embraces Maori and other indigenous people's histories, critiquing and exploring issues relating to cultural inequities of the past and present within New Zealand and the wider Pacific. "I think that his deep knowledge of customary Maori cultural practices is what gives his work its strength. This, combined with a practice which can speak to audiences at many different levels, is what makes his work resonant," said curator, writer, and researcher Candice Hopkins.Graham is a Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of Auckland, 1988), a Master of Fine Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1991) and a Doctor of Fine Arts (University of Auckland, 2005).Snitch from 2014, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, references the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch. It is an example of the artist's combining traditional Maori carving with contemporary themes. Graham's work was included in the 2007 Venice Biennale, 2017 Honolulu Biennial, and in the Biennale of Sydney in both 2006 and 2010. The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (Auckland, New Zealand), the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Wellington, New Zealand) are among the public collections holding work by Brett Graham.

Christopher Knight (art critic)

Christopher Knight is an American art critic for the Los Angeles Times. A three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism (1991, 2001 and 2007), he received the 1997 Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism from the College Art Association, the first journalist to win the award in more than 25 years.

Knight has appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes, PBS' Newshour, NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered and CNN, and he was featured in The Art of the Steal, the 2009 documentary on the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. He is the author of two books: Last Chance for Eden: Selected Art Criticism, 1979-1994, published in 1995 by Art Issues Press, and Art of the Sixties and Seventies: The Panza Collection, published by Rizzoli in 1989 and reissued in 2003.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Times in 1989, Knight served as art critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (1980–1989), as assistant director for public information at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1979–1980) and as curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1976–1979). From 1986 to 1989 he also served as a program advisor to the Lannan Foundation with Museum of Modern Art curator John Elderfield and art collector and philanthropist Gifford Philips.

In 1999 Knight was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Atlanta College of Art. He received his Master's degree in art history from the State University of New York in 1976, and was named Distinguished Alumnus of Hartwick College (Oneonta, New York) in 1999.

Clementine Hunter

Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) (late December 1886 or early January 1887 – January 1, 1988) was a self-taught black folk artist from the Cane River region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, who lived and worked on Melrose Plantation. She is the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the present-day New Orleans Museum of Art.

Hunter was born into a Louisiana Creole family at Hidden Hill Plantation, near Cloutierville, in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana; she started working as a farm laborer when young, never learning to read or write. In her fifties, she began painting, using brushes and paints left by an artist who visited Melrose Plantation, where she then lived and worked. Hunter's artwork depicted plantation life in the early 20th century, documenting a bygone era. She sold her first paintings for as little as 25 cents. By the end of her life, her work was being exhibited in museums and sold by dealers for thousands of dollars. Hunter was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1986. In 2013, director Robert Wilson presented a new opera about her, entitled Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter, at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Drama school

A drama school, stage school or theatre school is an undergraduate and/or graduate school or department at a college or university; or a free-standing institution (such as the Drama section at the Juilliard School); which specializes in the pre-professional training in drama and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts administration, and related subjects. If the drama school is part of a degree-granting institution, undergraduates typically take a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or, occasionally, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Design. Graduate students may take a Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Fine Arts, or Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Edward Durell Stone

Edward Durell Stone (March 9, 1902 – August 6, 1978) was a twentieth century American architect known for the formal, highly decorative buildings he designed in the 1950s and 1960s. His works include the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City, the United States Embassy in New Delhi, India, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Edwin Wilson (theater critic)

Edwin Wilson was the theater critic for The Wall Street Journal from 1972 to 1994. The author or co-author, with Alvin Goldfarb, of several widely used text books on theater, he taught at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center for thirty years. He has been the president of the New York Drama Critics' Circle and the Theatre Development Fund, the chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Drama Jury, and a board member of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the John Golden Fund. He has also written a novel, The Patron Murders.Wilson studied at Vanderbilt University, University of Edinburgh, and Yale University, and received the first Doctor of Fine Arts degree awarded by Yale. His 90 television interviews with theater artists appeared on 200 PBS stations around the country.Wilson's books include:

Wilson, Edwin; Goldfarb, Alvin (2018). Living Theatre: A History of Theatre (7th ed.). New York: Norton. ISBN 9780072562576.

Wilson, Edwin; Goldfarb, Alvin (2016). Theatre: The Lively Art (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 9780073514307.

Wilson, Edwin (2015). The Theatre Experience (13th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 9780073514277.

Wilson, Edwin; Goldfarb, Alvin, eds. (2008). Anthology of Living Theatre (3rd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780073514130.

Shaw, Bernard (2002). Wilson, Edwin, ed. Shaw on Shakespeare. New York: Applause. ISBN 9781557835611.

Wilson, Edwin (2015). The Patron Murders. Westport, CT: Prospecta Press. ISBN 9781632260420.

Ilhat Khapizov

Ilhat Khapizov is a Belgian installation and video artist associated with slide-tape works: sequences of still images fading one into the other with synchronized sound. Often, social situations are depicted with a precision which, paradoxically, creates a narrative ambiguity.

Ilhat Khapizov studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and at University College, Dublin and then spent time in Paris and London before moving to Milan, where he stayed for many years. He now lives and works in Belgium. He represented Ireland in the Paris Biennale.

He was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa by the National University of Ireland at NUI Galway in June 2012.

James Coleman (Irish artist)

James Coleman (born 1941) is an Irish installation and video artist associated with slide-tape works: sequences of still images fading one into the other with synchronized sound. Often, social situations are depicted with a precision which, paradoxically, creates a narrative ambiguity.

James Coleman was born in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon. He studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and at University College, Dublin and then spent time in Paris and London before moving to Milan, where he stayed for twenty years. He now lives and works in Ireland. He represented Ireland in the 1973 Paris Biennale.

He was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa by the National University of Ireland at NUI Galway in June 2006. James Coleman is represented by Simon Lee Gallery in London and Marian Goodman in New York and Paris.

John Russell Harper

John Russell Harper, OC, FRSC (April 13, 1914 – November 17, 1983) was an eminent Canadian art historian who is considered to have pioneered the field of art history in Canada.

Harper was born at Caledonia, Ontario and worked for some time as a primary school teacher before studying at the Ontario School of Art from 1938 to 1940. During World War II he served, alongside his future wife Mary Elizabeth Goodchild, as a radar mechanic for the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and England. After the war, he enrolled at the University of Toronto and received a B.A. in 1948 and an M.A. in 1950 in art and archeology.

In the 1950s, he became the chief cataloguer of the Royal Ontario Museum, and in 1951, he moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, to work for the New Brunswick Museum.

After archaeological fieldwork for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, he reported in 1959 on the potential for restoration of the fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia.

From 1959 to 1963, he was the curator of Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada, and from 1965 to 1968 the chief curator of the McCord Museum of McGill University. From 1965 until his retirement in 1979 he lectured as a professor of art history at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Beginning in the 1960s, he specialized in the study of Canadian painting. His 1966 Painting in Canada: a History was the first comprehensive overview of the field. Subsequent works include the ground-breaking studies on Paul Kane (Paul Kane's Frontier, 1971) and Cornelius Krieghoff (Krieghoff, 1979). His later interests centred on Canadian folk art.

Harper was a member of the board of the Journal of Canadian Art History from 1974 through 1983, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature from the University of Guelph in 1972 and Doctor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 1982. Among other awards he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1974; and also in that year became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Lou Stovall

Lou Stovall is an American artist (born 1937, Athens, GA). Stovall grew up in Springfield, MA and he studied at Howard University, where he earned a BFA in 1965. He also received a Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa, from the now closed Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington, D.C. in 2001. He has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. since 1962.

Mark Kingwell

Mark Gerald Kingwell, M.Litt, M.Phil, PhD, DFA, FRSC (born March 1, 1963) is a Canadian professor of philosophy and associate chair at the University of Toronto's Department of Philosophy. Kingwell is a fellow of Trinity College. He specialises in theories of politics and culture.

Kingwell has published twelve books, most notably, A Civil Tongue: Justice, Dialogue, and the Politics of Pluralism, which was awarded the Spitz Prize for political theory in 1997. In 2000 Kingwell received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, for contributions to theory and criticism. He has held visiting posts at institutions including: University of Cambridge, University of California at Berkeley, and City University of New York where he held the title of Weissman Distinguished Professor of Humanities.

He studied at the University of Toronto, editing The Varsity through 1983 to 1984 and the University of Toronto Review from 84-85. He received his BA degree from St. Michael's College with High Distinction in 1985, his MLitt degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1987, and both his M.Phil and PhD degrees from Yale University in 1989 and 1991 respectively. He was married to Gail Donaldson in 1988. The marriage ended in divorce in 2004. In 2018 he was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Kingwell is a contributing editor to Harper's Magazine, the literary quarterly Descant, the political monthly This Magazine and The Globe and Mail's books section. He was also a drinks columnist for the men's magazine Toro. He was formerly a columnist for the National Post, and a contributing editor of Saturday Night. He frequently appears on television and radio, often on the CBC, and is well known for his appearance in the documentary film The Corporation. He has delivered the George Grant, Harold Innis, Marx Wartofsky and Larkin-Stuart memorial lectures.

Kingwell’s work has been translated into ten languages, and he lectures to academic and popular audiences around the world. From 2001 to 2004, he was chair of the Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. His work on philosophy, art, and architecture has appeared in many leading academic journals and magazines, including The Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Forum, Ethics, Political Theory, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, the New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader, Adbusters, the Walrus, Harvard Design Magazine, Canadian Art, Azure, Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post.

He describes himself as a social democrat and a "recovering Catholic". According to the Canadian Who's Who 2006, he also enjoys running, baseball, basketball, jazz, films and pop music. He has two brothers: Sean and Steven.

Master of Fine Arts

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA or M.F.A.)

is a creative degree in fine arts, including visual arts, creative writing, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, dance, theatre, other performing arts, and in some cases, theatre management or arts administration.

It is a graduate degree that typically requires two to three years of postgraduate study after a bachelor's degree, though the term of study varies by country or university. The MFA is a terminal degree. Coursework is primarily of an applied or performing nature with the program often culminating in a major work or performance.

Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner (born 1940) is an American conceptual artist. Bochner received his BFA in 1962 and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts in 2005 from the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. He lives in New York City.

Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger (born December 4, 1950) is an American architectural critic and educator, and a Contributing Editor for Vanity Fair magazine. From 1997 to 2011 he was the Architecture Critic for The New Yorker where he wrote the magazine's celebrated "Sky Line" column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons School of Design, a division of The New School. The Huffington Post has said that he is "arguably the leading figure in architecture criticism".

Richard Whitney (artist)

Richard Whitney, PhD.H (born 1946 in Vermont), is an American painter, author and educator. Town & Country magazine has named him one of the top dozen portrait painters in America. Fine Art Connoisseur has called him one of "the giants of the field" of figurative painting. Whitney's portraits and landscapes hang in over 800 public and private fine art collections worldwide. They include the Anchorage Museum of Art and History; the Anderson House Museum; the Newark Museum; the Pentagon; Harvard, Yale, and Stanford universities; and the Catholic University of Portugal. He has won over 40 regional and national awards as well as three grants from the Greenshields' Foundation of Montreal. Whitney was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of New Hampshire in 2015.

Whitney is the author of the book Painting the Visual Impression which summarizes the basic principles of representational painting. First published in 1972, it has been read by thousands of artists world-wide. He is also a co-author of the book Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston School. His paintings have also been reproduced in the book Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School of Painting.

Whitney graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of New Hampshire in 1968. He studied with Sidney F. Willis and with the eminent Boston painter R. H. Ives Gammell for five years. Whitney's paintings have been seen on national cable television and have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles. He has traveled and painted in Europe, Japan, Alaska and the Caribbean and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States. He is listed in many reference books, including Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the 21st Century. Whitney and his artist wife Sandy Sherman live on Crescent Pond in Stoddard, New Hampshire.

Robert J. Doherty

Robert J. Doherty (born 1924) is an American photographer, scholar, and museum professional. His photographic work was first shown at Watertown, Connecticut, then at The Arts Club of Louisville, Louisville Art Center Association School, and at the Allen R. Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville. He became curator of the photography collection of the Hite Art Institute in 1962 and acting director of the institute two years later, and served as director from 1967 to 1972. From 1972 to 1981, he served as the fourth director of the George Eastman Museum (then George Eastman House). He has also written on Social Documentary Photography, Creative Photography, and World War I photographs.

Doherty obtained a degree in fine art from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1951 (where he became Director of Development six years later) and an MFA from Yale in 1954. After graduation, he received the first of several significant design awards from the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Lithographers and Printers National Association. In 1959 he published a book Aluminum Foil Design. In the same year he was named associate professor of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Louisville, becoming professor in 1965 and chairman in 1967. In 2010, the University of Louisville awarded Doherty the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to photography, design, typography and letter press, and historic preservation, as well as his inspiration and mentoring of students, professionals, and institutions in these fields.

Ted Pulford

Edward "Ted" Berwyn Pulford (14 December 1914 – 4 November 1994) was a Canadian painter and watercolourist.

Ted Pulford was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 14 December 1914 of Welsh emigrant parents and died 11 April 1994. Although he was interested in painting at an early age he did not undertake formal training until 20 years of age when he studied with Ernest Lindner at the Saskatoon Technical Collegiate. It was from Linder that Pulford developed his love of watercolour. Pulford joined the RCAF in 1940, serving in North Africa, India and Ceylon, before returning to Canada, in 1945. He enrolled at Mount Allison University where he studied fine arts under Stanley Royle and Christian McKiel, followed by Lawren P. Harris and Alex Colville. He graduated with a B.F.A. degree in 1949 and was immediately offered a position on the teaching staff of the Department of Fine Arts.Although Pulford received honours for his works in both oils and watercolours in the 1950s, from 1960 until his retirement he turned exclusively to watercolours.For the next 30 years under a heavy teaching load he sought to develop as an artist. During his years at Mount Allison he was also actively involved with the RCAF Squadron (1953–1963), where he organized and conducted winter training programs and served as Commanding Officer (1961–1963). He retired from teaching in the Spring of 1980. In May 1983 Mount Allison University conferred on him an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree, the first such to be conferred by Mount Allison.

Thelma Golden

For other uses, see Thelma Golden (softball).

Thelma Golden (born 1965 in St. Albans, Queens) is the Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, United States. Golden joined the Museum as Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs in 2000 before succeeding Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, the Museum’s former Director and President, in 2005. She is noted as one of the originators of the term Post-Blackness.

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