Diana Attie                           Inducted 1989 - Class of 1956

Diana Attie is an artist and a Professor of Fine Arts at the Toledo Museum of Art and in the Department of Art of the University of Toledo.

A member of the Class of 1956, Diana entered Woodward from the seventh grade of Lagrange School. Following a rigorous high school academic program was a challenge to Diana which she successfully met when she graduated as Class Salutatorian. Besides the academic preparation which Woodward ensured, the opportunity to participate in the arts-related extracurricular activities of organizations like the Woodward Band and Choraliers became the means for the development of the stamina that has served her so well in her profession. Woodward recognized her achievements in both the academic and extracurricular areas by awarding Diana the coveted TATTLER Achievement Cup.

Critical to the development of her early interests in art and education were the excellent teachers

Diana had observed at Woodward. Especially important in these early years was the personal guidance of the Toledo Public Schools' art supervisor, Mary Ryan. Yet another guiding force was Frank Duvendack, a personality one could not have afforded to miss.

After graduating from Woodward, Diana unhesitatingly pursued a career in fine arts. She received the Elizabeth C. Gilmartin fellowship, a full five-year scholarship; the Art Interests Awards, 1956 through 1960, inclusively; and a tuition scholarship from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She graduated with honors from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art where she completed the B.S. and M.A. degrees from both institutions, and was awarded the M.T. Kennedy Prize for "unusual distinction for creative work in the field of art."

One measure of success in today's world of art is the selection of an artist’s work for national exhibition. Competition is intense as art jurors accept only 40-100 works out of thousands of entries. Diana has exhibited nationally and has received awards of excellence in draughtmanship in many prestigious, juried shows. Among the national competitive exhibitions in which her works were represented are the Butler Institute of American Art; the Drawing Society National Exhibition sponsored by the American Federation of Arts, N.Y.- an exhibit which traveled to fifteen museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Drawings USA, Biennial, Minnesota Museum of Art, Purchase Award; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Midwest Competition, work selected for national exhibition; Fourth Bucknell National Drawing Exhibition, Bucknell University, Purchase Award; All-Ohio Graphics Exhibition, Dayton Art Institute traveling~ exhibition; National Print and Drawing Competition, Northern Illinois University, circulating exhibition; Twenty-second Annual National Drawing and Sculpture Exhibition, Del Mar College; Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts National Drawing and Painting Show; Pensacola National Drawing Exhibition, and many more.

Regionally her work is known through the Annual Competitive Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art where she won many awards including the Roulet Medal for Best of Show. Recently, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, as part of the Art in Public Places Program, installed by commission two of her works in the Municipal Courts Building.

The interface of exhibiting artist and educator is evident in her achievements as Professor of Fine Arts at the Toledo Museum of Art and the University of Toledo for the last 26 years. She has contributed significantly to a broad cross-section of the educational programs by developing a highly structured curriculum for her university studio courses, lecturing, installing studio-related didactic exhibitions, conducting national and regional workshops, and functioning as an art juror. One creative program, for example, was for gifted high school students, and was taught from 1967 through 1976. This endeavor received extensive media review and one of its projects won a National Grand Prize for best library design-exhibit in the competition.

At the university level, even though her students describe her as a demanding teacher, the requests for her classes far exceed their capacity. Ms. Attie has twice been nominated as outstanding teacher of the year, and outstanding advisor, at the University of Toledo.

Years of personal study of the human form and its dissection led to her developing a special studies course in collaboration with the Department of Anatomy of the Medical College of Ohio for qualified advanced drawing students. Diana is currently organizing a national exhibit of original, professional medical illustrations entitled "Medical Illustration as Art." Earlier, this intense interest in figurative structure led to her being selected by four Olympic gold medalists to create illustrations for two books. These books, requiring thousands of precise figure drawings, have been translated and are used internationally as judging manuals and teaching texts.

About her art Diana writes, "While my current work reflects my attempts to express abstractly the qualities of, atmosphere, light, and spatial intervals, my true sources of structure in a work return to the disciplines inherent in interpreting the human figure."

Diana is married to Thomas A. Seeman. They have a 7-year-old son, John-Raphael, who has intervened in his mother's artistic growth by returning her, through his eyes, to the childlike curiosity of the world that is so essential to the artist.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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