African Art

Jonathan Campbell and Tanya Dowdey

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When noted herpetologist Jonathan Campbell’s work takes him to remote Guatemalan jungles or the heart of Africa, he typically brings something back.

Often the treasures are animal specimens that find their way into UT Arlington’s Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center. But sometimes they’re gorgeous works of art. Over the years, he and his wife, Tanya Dowdey ’88, have amassed quite a collection.

We have several pieces from New Guinea and South America, but the focus has remained on Guatemala and Africa,” says Dr. Campbell, chair of the Biology Department. “We have purchased from dealers, but the pieces I have picked up at the end of the road in some remote region are especially meaningful.”

The couple have donated a large portion of their African art to the College of Liberal Arts. The works are on display in the Fine Arts Building. Eventually, they plan to give all of their African art collection to UT Arlington.

This art has brought years of enjoyment to us,” Campbell says. “We are very pleased to pass it on for a great many others to enjoy, essentially in perpetuity.”

Watch a video highlighting the donated collection.

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