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Mr. Minisi, Trustee Emeritus

S. Minisi

Mr. Anthony (Skip) S. Minisi,  (W ’48, L ’52) trustee emeritus and retired partner in the law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen LLP, died on May 5, of cancer at the age of 78.

Mr. Minisi became a partner with the law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen in 1960. He was also vice chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Law Examiners and member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He was also past president of the Lawyers Club of Philadelphia and past chair of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Mr. Minisi was a member and former chair of the Easttown Township (Chester County) Board of Supervisors.

During his undergraduate years at Penn, Mr. Minisi was an All-American halfback with  the undefeated football team of 1947, winning varsity letters as a freshman, junior and senior, and played against his alma mater as a sophomore in 1945 when he played for the Naval Academy. Mr. Minisi rushed for 1,390 yards in his Penn career, and his 150 points scored is still the seventh highest career total in school history. He was drafted by the New York Giants after graduation and played for them for one year before attending Penn Law School.

Mr. Minisi was past president of the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials. He was elected to the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and to the inaugural class of the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.

At Penn, Mr. Minisi was a member and past chair of the Athletics Advisory Board, an emeritus member of the WXPN Policy Board and served as University liaison to the Public Policy Office of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Mr. Minisi was also a former member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and its Executive Committee, past president of the Varsity Club, and co-president of the Class of 1948. He was given the Alumni Award of Merit in 1990. Mr. Minisi created the Anthony S. Minisi Endowment for Football. He has additionally supported several other areas of the University, including the Law School and the Medical Center.

He is survived by his wife, Rita Hentz Minisi; daughter, Clare; sons: Brian, Anthony J., and Joseph; two sisters; and two grandchildren.

Professor Slutzky, Fine Arts

R. Slutzky

Professor Robert Slutzky, professor of fine arts and a former chair of the department, died on May 3 at the age of 75 of complications of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He began teaching at Penn in 1990. When he won the G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2001, it was for his courses in color and collage, which had “a great impact not only on fine arts students, but also those in various departments of architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, and historic preservation. Through his knowledge of architecture and his fascination with the interplay of modern painting with this discipline, he has long been able to breach the gap between two very different modes of teaching, reaching both those who work in the relative solitude of a painting studio, and those whose work is by nature cooperative.”

School of Design Dean Gary Hack said, “Bob had a long and distinguished career as an artist, teacher of architects and artists, writer about art and architecture, and activist in promoting artistic visions at all scales. We will miss Robert Slutzky’s inspiration, and his irrepressible spirit.”

Professor Slutzky studied at Yale School of Art where he earned a BFA and an MFA. He first taught at the University of Texas, Cornell, Pratt, and Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art before coming to Penn. He was a master of color and space, frequently collaborating with architects, including I.M.Pei, John Hejduk, Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman and Guillaume de la Fuente. 

He had one-person exhibitions of his paintings at many art galleries, including Penn’s Arthur Ross Gallery where in 1998 more than two dozen of his canvases covering some 50 years of his work were in an exhibition, Color Structures Extending the Poetics of Neo-Plastic Painting. He was included in group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Some of his paintings are in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney.

A large painting of his, which he donated to the school, is in the stair lobby of Charles Addams Hall.

The late John Hejduk, in a catalogue that accompanied a major exhibition of Robert Slutzky’s work in San Francisco, wrote:

“Robert Slutzky .... provokes the phenomenon of painting as “city of the mind.”  Painting to him is a civilizing act ... an urban act ... an act of linkage and connection ... an act of immense human heritage which, in itself, defines “seriousness.”  Slutzky’s is an art that is antithetical to disease and death.  Through [then] 33 years of painting, Slutzky has been obsessed with structure:  geometric structure ... color structure ... space structure ... number structure ... measurement structure ... music structure ... thought structure ... and the structure of spirit.”

He was a coauthor, with Colin Rowe, an architectural theorist, of “Transparency: Literal and Phenomenal,” a pair of influential essays on the relationship between architecture and modern art.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Ockman, his daughter, Zoe, a sister and a brother.

A memorial service is being planned for the fall.

Paul Watson, History of Art

P. Watson

Dr. Paul Watson, associate professor emeritus of the history of art and assistant dean of advising in the College, died on May 15 at the age of 65 from complications after a fall.

Dr. Watson—a native of Toronto—received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1962, and earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University in 1970. He joined  Penn’s faculty in 1968 as an instructor, teaching Italian, medieval and Renaissance art, became assistant professor in 1970 was appointed associate professor in 1976. He became emeritus in 2000. He also served as undergraduate chair of his department from 1997 and continued his engagement with undergraduates in retirement as College advisor.

 A specialist in the Italian Renaissance, he was one of the first scholars to investigate the domestic paintings known as cassoni, betrothal chests decorated with subjects from classical mythology or poetic allegory. He also innovated the study of painted birth salvers in a pioneering article, and made numerous connections between Italian pictures and texts by classical and Renaissance authors. His research into Italian secular art culminated in the publication of his opus magnum, The Garden of Love in Tuscan Art of the Early Renaissance (Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1979), in which he explicated a range of paintings and prints that linked late medieval courtly love subjects to Renaissance Florence. He retained a strong interest in the connections between Boccaccio and later Renaissance painting, which resulted in numerous publications. A number of studies on Raphael, particularly his Vatican fresco of “Parnassus,” remained an abiding scholarly fascination.

In his latter years of teaching, Dr. Watson’s academic focus on Italy shifted from the secular to the sacred, in which he brought both his extensive knowledge and deep commitment to the Roman Catholic Church to bear on the analysis of Renaissance art and architecture.

He is survived by his daughter, Amanda; and a sister, Jean Smith.  Donations may be made to St. Agatha-St. James Church and may be designated to repair its stained glass windows.

To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136  or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 33, May 24, 2005


May 24, 2005
Volume 51 Number 33


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