News and Features

North Texas Has a New Knight – An Italian One, This Time

The Dallas Bach Society’s James Richman and his choreographer-wife Catherine Turocy were knighted in 1995 by the French government in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of their contributions to the field of Baroque music and dance. Last year, Rick Brettell, the UTD professor and former DMA director, was made a commandeur by the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his work in establishing FRAME, the French Regional and American Museum Exchange that helped bring the recent exhibition, The Mourners, to the DMA.

And now SMU has an Italian knight or cavaliere. P. Gregory Warden, distinguished professor of art history and associate dean, has received the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity for his promotion of Italian studies, particularly as co-director of SMU-sponsored excavations into Etruscan history, north of Florence. His efforts led to the 2009 Meadows Museum exhibition,  From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany the most comprehensive exhibition of Etruscan art in the U.S.

The full release follows:

SMU ART HISTORY PROFESSOR GREGORY WARDEN RECEIVES AWARD FROM PRESIDENT OF ITALY

DALLAS (SMU) – Dr. P. Gregory Warden, University Distinguished Professor of Art History and associate dean for academic affairs at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, received the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity and the title of Cavaliere (knight) in the name of the President of the Italian Republic on June 4.  The award was presented by Fabrizio Nava, the Consul General of Italy in Houston, at the Italian Club of Dallas as part of a ceremony celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Italian Republic on June 2 and the 150th anniversary of the Unity of Italy that was proclaimed on March 17, 1861.

The Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity was instituted in 1947 to recognize the achievements of those Italians and foreigners who had played a distinguished role in the reconstruction of Italy after World War II. It is now bestowed upon Italians and foreign nationals who have provided a meaningful contribution to the prestige of Italy while promoting friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries.

In presenting the award on behalf of the President of the Italian Republic, Consul General Nava said, “Dr. Warden’s work in promoting the studies of Italian culture at Southern Methodist University contributed greatly to the success of the program ‘SMU-in-Italy.’ His projects of excavation in Italy have served greatly to advance the knowledge of the Etruscan people in the United States. He is indeed a great scholar in this field and an important ambassador of the Italian culture in this country.”

Dr. Warden, a native of Italy, is co-director of the Mugello Valley Archaelogical Project, an SMU-sponsored archaeological excavation at the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla, about 20 miles northeast of Florence. The site, first excavated from 1968 to 1972 by an Italian archaeology official, was reopened by Dr. Warden in 1995. He also established and oversees the Poggio Colla Field School, which brings university students from around the world to the site for six weeks each summer to conduct research. In 2009, Dr. Warden helped organize an exhibition of Etruscan art at SMU’s Meadows Museum, including findings from the Poggio Colla dig. It was the most comprehensive exhibition of Etruscan art ever undertaken in the U.S.

Dr. Warden joined the art history faculty at SMU in 1982 and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Etruscan and Roman art and archaeology, as well as introductory courses on the history of architecture. He was director of the SMU-in-Italy summer program in Florence, Orvieto and Rome from 1987 to 1998. He also chaired the Art History Division for six years, and has served as associate dean for academic affairs at the Meadows School since 1998. He has received multiple teaching awards, including a Rotunda Award for outstanding teaching from the SMU student body in 1985-6. He was named the 1996-97 Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor and, in 2008, he was honored with the title University Distinguished Professor of Art History.

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