|Doug Houchens, Founder of Visual Arts at Davidson, Passes Away At Age 92
August 26, 2008
Contact: Bill Giduz
Douglas C. Houchens, the founding professor of Davidson's art department, died on August 19 at age 92. Active and vibrant until the end, he had hosted guests at his home the previous day. As one friend expressed it, "He went to bed in Davidson and woke up in heaven."
|Douglas C. Houchens |
Houchens was hired by President John Cunningham in 1953 to create the art department. He worked for many years as a one-man faculty, teaching classes in art history, color theory, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and filmmaking. He retired from the faculty in 1978.
In 1988 the art department established the Douglas Houchens Studio Art Award for the best rising junior studio major in his honor. In 1993 the Douglas C. Houchens Terrace was christened as part of the opening of the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center. His artistic career and colorful life story were celebrated in 2003, the 50th anniversary of the art department. The Van Every/Smith Galleries mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work, and an anonymous donor established the Douglas Houchens Professorship, which has been held since that time by Herb Jackson, whom Houchens hired as the second member of the art faculty.
Houchens' wife of 58 years, Maggie, died in November 2007. He is survived by their two daughters, Page Dos Reis and Clayton Houchens. Memorial gifts may be made to the Davidson College Gallery Endowment.
Articles and images from his work and life from the exhibition catalogue and a Davidson Journal article about Houchens are available online. Follow the links below to learn about his artistic vision and impact on the college community.
Winter 2003 Davidson Journal Article.
A 2003 conversation between Doug Houchens and Herb Jackson, the college's Houchens Professor of Art.
"Primary Impulse" exhibition catalogue essay written by J. Gill Holland, professor emeritus of English.
Posted By: Bill Giduz