Carnegie Mellon Names Hilary Robinson Dean of Top-Ranked College of Fine Arts
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Carnegie Mellon Names Hilary Robinson Dean of Top-Ranked College of Fine Arts

Hilary Robinson
Hilary Robinson, head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Ulster, has been named dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, effective August 1.

She succeeds Martin Prekop, who has led the college for 12 years and will rejoin the College of Fine Arts faculty in 2006.

Robinson has been a member of the University of Ulster faculty since 1992, when she took a post teaching the History and Theory of Art to studio fine art students. Appointed to direct the school's research in 1998, she then became head of the school in 2002. Robinson led it to achieve the joint highest rating out of the 75 art and design institutions in the United Kingdom.

"Hilary Robinson is very passionate about the role of the arts in society," said Mark Kamlet, provost of Carnegie Mellon. "She has done a wonderful job building relationships abroad and throughout the United States. We have great confidence she will lead the college in an exciting new direction in its centennial year, following the legacy of Martin Prekop."

Trained as a painter in the 1970s, Robinson spent many years working as an artist and as a freelance arts administrator, critic and lecturer. Her past employment includes gallery work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and at the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow, Scotland; research and development work for an Art in Public Places agency; and co-authoring "The Rough Guide to Venice."

In the 1980s she received her M.A. at the Royal College of Art, London, gaining the Allan Lane award for Outstanding Contribution to Cultural Theory; and in the 1990s she earned her Ph.D. at the University of Leeds on the implications for art practices of the work of French philosopher Luce Irigaray.

Robinson's own research is in the field of contemporary art theory. Her first anthology was "Visibly Female" in 1987 (Camden Press). She published "Feminism-Art-Theory 1968-2000" (Blackwells) in 2001 and this year will see publication of the monograph, "Reading Art, Reading Irigaray: the Politics of Art by Women" (IB Tauris). She has published 16 refereed essays in edited collections and journals and delivered refereed conference papers and convened panels at more than 18 conferences, including the College Art Association (CAA), the American Society for Aesthetics and the Association of Art Historians. She has published widely in catalogues and in professional magazines.

In the United Kindom, Robinson is a member of the Executive Committee for the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design, and of its research subcommittee. She is on the Management Advisory Board for the Art Design Media-Higher Education Academy; is a member of the Visual Arts and Media panel for the Arts and Humanities Research Council; and is a member of the Advisory Group for the Cultural Industries Unit of the British Council. In the United States she has just finished her term of office on the Committee on Women in the Arts, College Art Association (CAA). Other committee work includes being a trustee of the Head Trust (a charity supporting art and design education) and chair of the Board of the Ormeau Baths Gallery (the leading contemporary art gallery in Northern Ireland).

Through her research, her work with CAA and development-related activity for the University of Ulster, Robinson has built a strong network of colleagues in the United States. Robinson is married to artist Alastair MacLennan and currently lives with him in Belfast.

The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools, Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs.

For more information on Hilary Robinson or the College of Fine Arts, contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or email

Eric Sloss
June 14, 2005

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