April 5, 2014 8:20:10 PM
The legacy of Diane Howard, who studied art history at Mississippi University for Women, will continue through a scholarship and lecture series named in her honor.
On Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m., the Diane Legan Howard Art History Lecture Series will feature its first speaker, Dr. Temma Balducci, associate professor of art history at Arkansas State University. The program will be held in the Mary Evelyn Stringer Auditorium of the Art and Design Building, followed by a wine and cheese reception.
Balducci's research and publications focus on the intersection of gender and visual culture in 19th century-French art and in feminist art of the 1970s. She is a co-editor of and contributor to the companion volumes "Interior Portraiture and Masculine Identity in France, 1789-1914," and she has a forthcoming work, "Women, Femininity and Public Space in European Visual Culture, 1789-1914."
Howard, namesake of the series, graduated summa cum laude from The W in 1959. Her husband, Malcolm Beard Howard, and their four children chose to honor her passion for the arts through a scholarship and lecture series he started at The W in 2012.
Howard was born in Macon and resided in Columbus for many years before moving to Arizona.
She was noted for numerous contributions to her community, including being a life member of the Columbus Junior Auxiliary. Howard served the Junior Auxiliary on the national level as president, first, second and third vice president and finance chairman.
Howard was a member of the Soroptomist Club of Columbus; the Junior League of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and the Junior League Sustainer Transfers of Phoenix, Ariz. She was also involved in the Milady Garden Club in Columbus, the Historic Columbus Inc., and the Columbus Historic Foundation. She served both organizations as chairman of the annual Antique Show and Sale.
An avid antiques collector, Howard owned and operated Les Bijoux, an antique consignment business in Columbus, for several years. She also worked with her husband at their family-owned business, Universal Industries, where she served as president.
She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Columbus as well as the Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley when she moved to Arizona. There, she taught Sunday School, the Mom's group and was a member of Ruth's Circle and the Presbyterian Woman.
At the age of 63, Howard died in Scottsdale, Ariz., after a lengthy illness.