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In memoriam: Dean Carter, professor emeritus of art and art history, College of Architecture and Urban Studies


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 3, 2013 – Professor emeritus and celebrated artist Dean Carter died at home in Blacksburg, Va., on May 2, with his wife of 62 years, Rosina McDonnell Carter, at his side.

Carter was born April 24, 1922, in Henderson, N.C. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and after serving in the Army Air Corps in India, Burma, and China during World War II, he received a bachelor's degree from American University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University. From 1948 to 1949 he studied in Paris with the sculptor Ossip Zadkine.

Carter helped establish the Art Department at Virginia Tech in 1950 and served as its head for 10 years. He taught sculpture, drawing, and art history from 1950 to 1992.

A sculptor who worked in wood, clay, stone, and welding, Carter's work has been exhibited throughout the United States. In 1988, the Museum of Western Virginia in Roanoke mounted a retrospective of his work. In 2007, his work was exhibited at Virginia Tech to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Art Department's founding. 

His most recent show was in March 2013. Entitled “Figurative Landscapes,” it was part of a series highlighting the School of Visual Arts emeritus faculty's art as a way to celebrate the College of Architecture and Urban Studies' upcoming 50th anniversary.

In 1992, together with his wife, he established the Dean and Rosina Carter Scholarship, given to outstanding visual arts students in their junior year at Virginia Tech. Over 50 students have been awarded funds through this scholarship.  Carter said he benefited during his career from others' generosity and wanted to give talented undergraduates similar opportunities.

Remembrances may be given to Blacksburg United Methodist Church Music Ministry or to the Dean and Rosina Carter Endowed Art Scholarship, Virginia Tech Foundation, Blacksburg, Va., 24061.

Funeral services will be at Blacksburg United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. on Monday May 6, with the burial following at Westview Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday May 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home.