Joan (Hertzog) O’Mara ’67

25 May 2009

Class: 1967

Major: Art History

Deceased: May 24, 2009

Alumni survivors: Ms. Beverly H. Solow ’71 (Sibling)

(Deceased 05/24/2009)

Joan O’Mara, associate professor of art history at Washington and Lee, died Sunday, May 24, 2009. She was 63. Professor O’Mara was dedicated to her students and her profession. She was a careful scholar who demonstrated how art can reveal so much about the history and culture of a society. W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio said. “She will be missed on our campus and among the community of East Asian scholars. O’Mara, the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian Studies and former director of W&L’s East Asian Studies Program, joined the faculty in 1989. She held a B.A. from Carleton College and an M.A. and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan. O’Mara taught the history of Japanese art, the history of Chinese art, Asian art history and Western art history. Her areas of research included the Japanese tea ceremony; relationships between the Japanese print and 19th-century European art; and relationships between words and images in Japanese art. O’Mara was active in ASIANetwork, a national consortium of Undergraduate liberal arts institutions with Asian studies programs. She served as vice chair from 2003-2004, chair from 2004-2005 and ex-officio board chair from 2005-2006. She also belonged to the Japan Art History Forum; the Society for Values in Higher Education, where she was elected a fellow; and the Association for Asian Studies, among other associations. She wrote many publications, including book chapters, reviews and papers. O’Mara also was the editor of ASIANetwork’s Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, and the editor of W&L’s East Asian Studies Newsletter from 1998-2005. She was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lexington, where she served as a lector at Mass. The daughter of the late Charles D. and Ruth Jarvis Hertzog, she was born in 1946 in Philadelphia, PA., and is survived by her husband, Philip F. O’Mara of Lexington; her son, Philip Martin O’Mara of Brooklyn, New York; and her daughter, Caitlin Ruth Song O’Mara of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Other survivors include her sisters, Jan Neander of Pittsburgh, PA., and Beverly Solow of New York City, and her brothers, Gene of Henderson, NV., and Philip of Stuart, FL.

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