The University of California Los Angeles announced that photographer Catherine Opie has been named its new chair in art. The endowed position was established with a $2 million gift from philanthropists and entrepreneurs Lynda and Stewart Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company. In addition to funding the chair, the Resnicks also gifted $500,000 gift to the institution for the renovation and upgrade of the undergraduate photography suite, which was founded 1962 by Robert Heinecken. It will now be known as the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Photography Lab.
Opie joined the art department faculty in 2001. Known for her evocative images of contemporary America that have been featured in major museum exhibitions and collections throughout the world, Opie has captured a myriad of subjects throughout her career, including the S/M community, city buildings, domestic life, high school football, surfers, and President Barack Obama’s inauguration. At UCLA, Opie teaches both graduate and undergraduate students in photography.
“I am incredibly grateful to both Lynda and Stewart Resnick for their continued recognition of UCLA’s Art Department,” said Opie. “This gift will allow my area to move forward in both rebuilding and hiring photography faculty for teaching commitments of one to two years—much longer than previously possible—providing tremendous enhancement and support to the education of both the undergraduate and graduate students in photography.”