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Art Department faculty, staff and students are greatly saddened by the recent death of Mary Sheriff, W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Art History, former chair of the department, and much-admired colleague and teacher here at UNC at Chapel Hill since 1983. Words cannot express fully how much she will be missed in Hanes Art Center. You can read a more detailed obituary here:
















The Ackland Museum Remembers Dr. Sheriff

From Catherine Soussloff, University of British Columbia: Dear Jim Hirschfield: I wanted to send you and the department my deepest sympathies on the passing of Professor Mary  Sheriff, who I considered a friend and excellent colleague. I replaced Mary for one year when she went on Sabbatical leave in 1986-87, as a visiting Lecturer. At that time, I was fortunate to teach my first graduate seminar. I was also fortunate to make the acquaintance of many wonderful colleagues in the Art Department and elsewhere at UNC, Chapel Hill. Because of Mary and those colleagues, I was fortunate to obtain a tenure track position at UC Santa Cruz, where I taught for 24 years.

I have not seen Mary in a number of years, but I have always regarded her highly as an outstanding scholar (I have assigned her books and articles in my courses) and a truly inspired mentor and feminist. Please accept my condolences, and please put me on a mailing list with information about her memorial at UNC. Thanks so much. As ever, Catherine

Catherine M. Soussloff, Ph.D.
Visiting Lecturer, College de France, 2015
Professor, Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory
Associate, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
University of British Columbia
6333 Memorial Rd., Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada

From Russell Goulbourne, King’s College London: Dear Professor Hirschfield

I write on behalf of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King’s College London to express my sincere condolences to her colleagues, students, family and friends on the death of Professor Mary Sheriff.

I know of Professor Sheriff’s work as a fellow eighteenth-century scholar. What’s more, we were looking forward to welcoming her to King’s as a Visiting Professor next semester. The illness that has taken her from us so quickly and so cruelly has robbed us all of a fine scholar and one of the best representatives of the Republic of Letters: we are much the poorer without her.

With my best wishes

Russell Goulbourne

Russell Goulbourne | Professor of French Literature | Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
King’s College London | Virginia Woolf Building | 22 Kingsway | London WC2B 6LE

From Hannah Kiefer, B.A. 2014: Dear Art and Art History Faculty,

I am very sorry to hear of Dr. Sheriff’s passing. She was an incredible scholar and professor–I had the privilege of taking two of her courses while at Chapel Hill. Her Art in an Age of Revolution class opened my mind to a new level of art-historical thought and study. I know she will be greatly missed in the UNC and art-historical communities! My deepest condolences.


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