Lawrence and Isabel Barnett

Lawrence and Isabel Barnett“As donors to the Arts Policy and Administration program, the Barnetts believed in collaboration, cooperation, and cultural interaction. This year’s symposium reflects those values,” said Wayne Lawson, director emeritus of the Ohio Arts Council and a professor (emeritus) in the program.

In May 1993, the Barnetts established two endowments. The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Fellowship Fund provides tuition, fees, and an annual stipend for promising students in the graduate program. The Barnett Distinguished Visiting Professor Fund supports a visiting lecture series and the biennial symposium. Barnett Fellows work with faculty members as research associates, interns at the OSU Urban Arts Space, and assist with the symposium. In 2009, the department established the Barnett Dissertation Fellowship to assist advanced doctoral students finish their dissertation and launch their careers.

Also in 1993, Isabel donated her collection of theatrical memorabilia to Ohio State’s Lawrence and Lee Research Institute.

The symposium creates an opportunity to reflect on the generosity of Lawrence Barnett and his wife Isabel Bigley Barnett, who passed away in 2006. Mr. Barnett passed away in June 2012 at the age of 98.

They came from different backgrounds—he from small town Ohio, she from The Bronx, but they shared a love of show business and philanthropy.

Born in Orrville, Ohio, Larry loved music and played the violin. He started his own high school dance band. When he attended Ohio State as a business major in the 1930s, “Larry Barnett and his Orchestra” and a small band-booking business paid his college expenses. However, he became ill and left one quarter short of graduating.

“While I was in the hospital, I was offered $75 a week job with the talent division of CBS,” Larry said.

The CBS talent division was soon bought by the Music Corporation of America (MCA). Eventually Larry became president of MCA and its talent division, a position he held for 27 years.

Isabel Bigley, who won a scholarship to Julliard, is best known for her 1950 Tony Award-winning performance asSarah Brown in the original Broadway production of Guys and Dolls. She was in London playing the lead role of Laurey in Oklahoma! when she met Larry. They married in 1953, and Isabel retired from show business in 1958 to raise their children.

Over the years, Larry and Isabel became noted philanthropists. Frequently referred to as the “Grandfather” of the ALS Foundation, Larry is credited with spearheading the move to establish the association and its research program. Isabel worked with him on ALS projects, and she had her own charitable interests, including the prevention of blindness, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

When he retired in 1988, Larry wanted to finish his college degree. With his 1930s course credits and transcript in hand, he contacted the College of Business. Working with Professor Donald Sexton, he completed a business research thesis, received an A, and earned his bachelor’s degree at age 75.

“I’d finished everything in life, this was a very happy moment for me,” he said.

Larry accepted an honorary doctorate from Ohio State in 1996, and in 2004 was one of those honored with the John B. Gerlach Sr. Development Volunteer Award.

In earlier years when Larry and Isabel came to campus, or when he spoke with someone from Ohio State, he’d always ask, “How are my students doing?”

Thanks to the Barnetts, they’re doing great—as students and alumni.

-Story courtesy of Arts and Sciences Communications

Theresa Barkan Willits

The Manuel Barkan Endowed Fellowship Fund was established August 30, 1995 by Therese Barkan Willits and Joel Barkan, her son. The annual income from the endowment is used to support the dissertation research of one or more graduate students in the department.

The award honors the contributions and memory of Dr. Manuel Barkan, the first chair of our department. Dr. Barkan began his teaching career in 1938 at the School of Design of the Toledo Museum of Art. He joined OSU in 1947. In 1951, he received a Ford Foundation fellowship to study problems related to the improvement of undergraduate training in art education. In 1952, he was awarded a grant by the Rockefeller Foundation for research into creative behavior in the arts. Research he conducted in the schools in 1958 resulting in his book, Through Art to Creativity: Art in the Elementary School Program.

Dr. Barkan is also the author of A Foundation for Art Education, published in 1955, and Guidelines for Art Instruction Through Television for the Elementary Schools. He was also director of the Aesthetic Education Curriculum Program for CEMREL.

Mrs. Barkan's generosity has made it possible for many talented Ph.D. candidates to finish their dissertations. The department is deeply appreciative of her contributions and support.

Kenneth and Harold Marantz

The Marantz Distinguished Alumni Lectureship Fund was established in 1999 with gifts from Harold and Kenneth Marantz. This fund supports events that illuminate the particular contributions of Department of Art Education Alumni such as: short term residencies, seminars, electronic conferences, exhibitions, etc.

Each year, graduate students in Art Education, in consultation with the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, select a member of the Art Education alumni to receive the Marantz Distinguished Alumni Lectureship award.

The department is grateful to the Marantzes for creating this unique opportunity for graduate students to engage in a responsible decision-making event, expand on the knowledge the department's faculty offers, interact with dynamic models outside the university and honor one of their own who has created a successful career after graduation through scholarship and professional growth.

Marylou Kuhn

Dr. Marylou Kuhn, a noted contributor to the field of Art Education, earned a B.S. in Education from OSU, a master's degree from Teachers' College, Columbia University, and returned to OSU to earn a Ph.D. in 1958.

Dr. Kuhn passed away in January, 1999 after a long career in Art Education. From 1950 until 1989, Dr. Kuhn served on Florida State University's faculty. In addition to writing many articles, she also wrote two books and served as the editor of Studies in Art Education.

The Marylou and Ernestine Kuhn Memorial Scholarship Fund was established March 2, 2001, by the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University with gifts to The Ohio State University Development Fund from Dr. Marylou Kuhn (B.S.Edu. 1945, Ph.D. 1958). The annual income is used to provide scholarships for women graduate students in the Department of Art Education.