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Gary Russell Libby (born June 7, 1944) is an American art historian, author, educator and former museum director known for his award-winning books and scholarly exhibitions in the visual arts and his work on the history and development of the Florida School of Art.

Libby was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the second of three sons to Sylvia Phillips Libby of Boston and Charles Willard Libby of Machias, Maine. After graduation from Fort Myers Senior High School, Ft. Myers, Florida, he attended the University of Florida where he received an Associate of Arts, Bachelor and Masters of Arts degrees in English Literature. Libby was awarded a post-graduate National Defense Education Act Fellowship to attend Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was accepted into the Doctoral Program with an interest in turn of the century art and literature journals published in England such as the Savoy and the Yellow Book. At Tulane, Libby worked with Dr. Jessie Poesch, Professor of Art History at Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University, and author of the landmark publication, The Arts of the Old South, 1983. After graduation from Tulane with another Masters in English Literature and the completion of all coursework and examinations for the Ph.D. degree, Libby was hired as an Assistant Professor by Stetson University in 1972.

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Stetson University names Hand Center gallery for Gary R. Libby


  • 2016 Stetson University, DeLand, Florida, dedicated the largest gallery in the Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center as the Gary R. Libby Gallery of Art

  • 2015 The University of Florida, College of the Arts, Gainesville, Florida, renamed the Focus Gallery as the Gary R. Libby Gallery of Art

  • 2012 Bronze Award for Art History/Criticism from the Florida Book Awards for Reflections-II Watercolors of Florida 1865-2000

  • 2003 American Art Initiative Publication Award, from the Henry Luce Foundation, for A Treasury of American Art

  • 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award, the Florida Art Museum Directors Association

  • 1995 State of Florida Sesquicentennial Award, Florida Division of Historical Resources, for Celebrating Florida – Works of Art from the Vickers Collection and Statewide tour of the exhibition concluding in the visual arts galleries at the State Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida

  • 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award, Florida Association of Museums

  • 1999 Outstanding Community Leadership Award, Halifax Area Chamber of Commerce

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