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President Bush delivers remarks to Cabinet and Sub-Cabinet Members in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 16, 2002.  White House photo by Paul Morse.
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Bruce Cole -- National Endowment for the Humanities

Bruce Cole, a scholar of Renaissance art, is the eighth chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He came to the Endowment in December 2001 from Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was Distinguished Professor of Art History and Professor of Comparative Literature. As NEH chairman, Cole has launched We the People, an initiative to encourage the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. The initiative includes an annual Heroes of History lecture, the Idea of America Essay Contest for high school students, and a program to distribute classic children’s books to libraries and schools across the country. Under Cole's leadership the NEH's budget has increased for research, preservation, education, and public programs on American history and culture. The Endowment has also been able to award more grants for the study of other cultures and other times. The next phase of the We the People initiative features a partnership with the Library of Congress to catalogue and digitize the story of our past as told in America’s newspapers. When the National Digital Newspaper Program is complete, Americans will be able to search 30 million pages via the Internet. Cole’s relationship with the Endowment dates from 1971 when he received a fellowship to research early Florentine painting. He also served as a panelist in NEH's peer review system, and in 1992 he was named by President George H.W. Bush to the National Council on the Humanities, NEH’s 26-member advisory board. He served for seven years. After being nominated by George W. Bush to serve as chairman, his appointment was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate in September 2001. Cole has written fourteen books, many of them about the Renaissance. They include The Renaissance Artist at Work; Sienese Painting in the Age of the Renaissance; Italian Art, 1250-1550: The Relation of Art to Life and Society; Titian and Venetian Art, 1450-1590; and Art of the Western World: From Ancient Greece to Post-Modernism. His most recent book is The Informed Eye: Understanding Masterpieces of Western Art. Cole was born in Ohio and attended Case Western Reserve University. He earned his master's degree from Oberlin College and his doctorate in 1969 from Bryn Mawr College. For two years he was the William E. Suida Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. He has held fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Kress Foundation, American Philosophical Society, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a corresponding member of the Accademia Senese degli Intronati, the oldest learned society in Europe, and a founder and former co-president of the Association for Art History. He and his wife Doreen live in the District of Columbia and have two grown children.

Bruce Cole
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