In Memoriam: Charles Massey

August 4, 2020

In Memoriam: Charles Massey

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Charles Massey
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Charles Massey was an Emeritus Professor of Art (Printmaking), at OSU from 1974 -2013 (39 years). He was honored with numerous special recognitions from students, faculty, alumni and the university, noteworthy: a 1981 OSU Distinguished Teaching Award, a 2009 Recognition as Undergraduate Research Mentor and a 2015-16 Distinguished Alumni Award from MTSU. He received the Louis Nemzer award in 1997, presented by the OSU American Association of University Professors to recognize individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the principles of academic freedom and faculty rights. He was elected representative from ARTS to the University Senate, for a total of nineteen years of service. He initiated and nominated to the OSU Faculty Senate the awarding of an Honorary Degree to artist Roy Lichtenstein, to be given at Spring Commencement, in June 1988. Charles exhibited in over 900 regional, national or international juried, curated or invited exhibitions since 1971. He was visiting professor and artist in residence in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Egypt and Italy. He had a tireless dedication to his students, and a profound influence on generations of students. Many of these students have become teachers, professors and printmaking artists. Charles had a creativity that enabled him to enjoy collecting vintage toys, electric fans, boxes, and working sudoku puzzles. He was involved in community service with the Italian Village Commission 1977-85; The Columbus Art League 1982-93 (Distinguished Service Award 1993).

“I knew Charles as a tireless faculty member and mentor to many students over a number of his 39 years of service to the Department of Art and to the University. Charles knew the rules and guided many faculty through the tenure system as well as many students through the Honors Program. Soft-spoken and patient with the processes that form our institution, Charles received University Recognition as Undergraduate Research Mentor in 2009, epitomizing his commitment to generations of students not only in his discipline of printmaking, but across the arts.”—Laura Lisbon, Chair, Department of Art


“Charles Massey was an acquaintance, a well-known exhibiting artist active in local art organizations, and Chair of the Department of Art, when I came to OSU. Charles was a kind and thoughtful mentor, encouraging me in ways of utilizing the assets OSU has to offer. I will always be grateful for his overt inclusiveness and early guidance.

And yes, Charles was the person who knew the rules; if Charles had been an English prof, he would have been a stickler for correct punctuation. In fact, he did have a strong academic background in English. And even as he was a constant reminder of university rules, he was a strong advocate for the authority and priorities of the Department of Art.

I will always think of Charles with the utmost affection and appreciation.”--Todd Slaughter, Faculty, Department of Art


“Charles Massey shepherded his students closely. He believed strongly in the craft and art of printmaking in all its varied media and techniques. To be Charles’s student was to become aware what the word “mastery” really means—a dedication of time and close attention to all the small things that matter to the big picture. The quest was, for Charles, not only the fine art of printmaking , but the making of truly fine arts students. He was both a master printer and a master teacher.”—Michael Mercil, Faculty, Department of Art