The Department of Art History has received a bequest of nearly $1 million from the Estate of Ross Edman and Jon Waltz to establish merit-based awards to students in Art History. This gift will allow the Department of Art History to recruit the brightest and most qualified applicants to its graduate and undergraduate programs.
Edman, who died in 2017, was a beloved teacher of art history at UIC for more than 30 years, and was famous for his bow ties and unflappable wit. He was widely known for his expertise in Asian Art, which he dispensed in his teaching as well as in his role as a noted appraiser of art and antiques.
Professor Edman joined UIC, while the University’s campus was still at Navy Pier, after a stint at the Seattle Museum of Art. A native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in his youth he had spent long periods of time in Europe, while his father served in the U.S. Department of State. He attended Harvard University and Oberlin College, obtaining an MA in Art History. His dedicated commitment to the education of undergraduate students earned him a Silver Circle Award in 1988, a signal recognition of the appreciation and respect of generations of students at UIC. At his retirement in 1995, faculty, students and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees honored him as professor emeritus. Edman’s bequest to the Department of Art History is only the last expression of his generosity and engagement with our students.
Ross Edman’s partner Jon Waltz, who predeceased him in 2004, had been a noted legal scholar and a professor at the Northwestern Law School, where he taught for 30 years. Edman and Waltz shared a deep commitment to their students and higher education, as witnessed by their joint awards to their respective institutions.