CULLOWHEE – Robert Godfrey of Asheville, professor of art and former head of the art department at Western Carolina University, is the recipient of a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the Butler Institute of American Art.
The institute selected Godfrey for its Butler Medal for Life Achievement in American Art in part because of his role in planning Western’s new Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $30 million showcase currently under construction on the WCU campus.
An artist of international renown himself, Godfrey has helped Western obtain art from around the world to be displayed in the facility’s art galleries, including works by some of the nation’s foremost artists.
“Because of Bob Godfrey’s knowledge of the American art world, it is no surprise that the new museum will hit the ground running,” said Louis Zona, director of the Butler Institute of American Art. “To have such a permanent collection that includes so many major artists will mean that the museum will begin its foundation on very good footing.”
A member of Western’s faculty since 1985, Godfrey received his bachelor’s degree in painting from Philadelphia College of Art and his master’s degree in painting from Indiana University. His paintings have been exhibited at major museums in the United States and Europe.
The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, is often called “America’s Museum” because it is home to one of the world’s largest and most acclaimed collections of U.S. art.