Martin Prekop retires from Carnegie Mellon this month, following 25 years of passionate and impactful service as Professor of Art, including 12 years as Dean of the College of Fine Arts (1993-2005).  Dan Martin, Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean, College of Fine Arts, paid tribute to Prekop this week, reflecting on some of Prekop's achievements and expressing the college’s deep gratitude for his numerous contributions to the arts community. In a letter to the CFA and campus communities, Dean Martin wrote:

Martin’s tenure as dean was marked by many significant accomplishments, including:

  • Construction of Purnell Center for the Arts in 1999 as a new home for the School of Drama (realization of a 50-year dream);
  • Establishment of Miller Gallery, with a generous gift from alumna Regina Gouger Miller;
  • Transition from CFA academic departments to Schools;
  • Major CFA renovations including Alumni Concert Hall and the A level;
  • Enhancement of CFA Photo program, including complete facility renovation in Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall and expansion of course offerings;
  • Establishment of Zebra Lounge (including building & painting the original furniture!); and
  • Fostering inclusion of public art on campus, including Kraus Campo (alumnus Mel Bochner & landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh), bronze casts on the exterior of Purnell Center (Professor Carol Kumata), and ceramic reliefs on the exterior of the University Center (Professor Joe Mannino).

As an exhibiting artist, Martin’s photographs, paintings and sculptures have been shown extensively both nationally and abroad, and they can be found in museum collections near and far -  from the Carnegie Museum of Art to the Seattle Art Museum. His remarkable mirrored home in Fox Chapel is an ongoing art project, continually embellished and transformed. Martin and his wife, Jesha Chen, inaugurated a gallery at the home that featured work by Carnegie Mellon faculty and alumni, among others.

Well-known for his generosity, hospitality and keen sense of connoisseurship, Martin hosted many lively and memorable social events on campus and at his home, fostering community spirit and conviviality.

"Martin Prekop has had a lasting impact as artist, educator and leader.  We will miss his sharp wit, his acute insights, and his remarkable mentorship of emerging artists," Dean Martin said. "I know that I speak for all of us in CFA in wishing him many happy and creative days ahead."