Dario Covi, a highly respected scholar of Italian Renaissance art history and Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts, has been an important figure in the College of Arts and Arts Sciences for more than a half century.
A native of Livingston, Illinois, Dr. Covi first joined the A&S faculty in 1956 after studying at universities in the United States and Europe. He earned his doctorate in Art History from New York University.
At UofL, Dr. Covi curated the University Collection and Exhibitions from 1958¬-1963; was Acting Chair of the Department of Fine Arts from 1960-1963; and was Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Director of the Allen R. Hite Art Institute from 1963-1967. In 1970, he left UofL to teach at Duke University where he served as Chair of its Department of Art. But in 1974, after an exhaustive national search for a senior historian with administrative experience, A&S was able to lure Dr. Covi back to Louisville. He returned as the Allen R. Hite Professor of Art History and served in a variety of leadership positions over the following decade including Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Director of the Hite Art Institute from 1976-1979 as well as Chair of the Division of Humanities for one year.
Dr. Covi once again became curator of the university’s art collection in 1977 and continues to maintain the large quantity and variety of art objects more than two decades after his retirement.
A highly respected teacher and lecturer, Dr. Covi is an authority on Andrea del Verrocchio of Florence. Dr. Covi’s major publication, on which which he labored many years, was Andrea del Verrocchio Life and Work, an important and definitive volume on the Italian sculptor of the Renaissance. He has written numerous other articles on the Italian Renaissance, as well as many essays on local, regional and national artists published in exhibition catalogues. Several of the many students Dr. Covi mentored have gone on to become well-known artists and scholars.
In his 90s, Dr. Covi still comes to his office five days a week. His tireless dedication, noble character and insightful wisdom continue to inspire faculty, staff and students.