Danielle Rice Remembered

Danielle & Randi, Spring 2019

Danielle Rice was our field’s determined intellectual—a deeply thoughtful museum leader and beloved educator (to her staff; visitors; and later, to her students) who always adeptly argued her point verbally and with the written word.  She was an art missionary who wanted to see our field “retire this ancient debate pitting aesthetic appreciation against quantifiable learning once and for all.”[1] She recognized how pointless and unproductive this-or-that arguments are, as she experienced life as completely integrated—with her intellect and emotions working together to deliver life’s joys and hardships.

Her most recent hardship, as many of you now know, was losing her battle with cancer.  When Danielle and I were discussing her misfortune over lunch this spring, I held back tears while she chose to persevere with strength and courage—so much so that her determination spilled on to me, helping me search for the right words to say in what seemed like a very long, dark moment.  She knew people needed help processing her illness, and she did for me what she has done for so many others her whole life, she shared her abundant wisdom and offered her philosophical perspective.  Danielle was that kind of person; she effortlessly shared her understanding and intellect with others—whether as a mentor, master gallery teacher, professor, or museum leader.  I learned a great deal from Danielle over the years and I am grateful, and oh, so lucky to have known her.  She is in my heart as the forever teacher.


[1] Rice, Danielle.  2001. “Looking into Seeing: what People Learn in an Art Museum” in The Museum as a Place for Learning.  Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, p. 48.

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