Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: Ross King
Convocation date: June 4, 2014
Citation / biographical information:

Ross King was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, and raised in the nearby village of North Portal. He is one of seven children, all of whom attended university in the province. He graduated with a BA and an MA in English from the University of Regina. He did a PhD at York University before completing postdoctoral studies at University College, London.

Ross King is the author of six books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. He has also published two historical novels, Domino (1995) and Ex-Libris (1998), and edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci's fables, jokes and riddles. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books have been nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the National Award for Arts Writing. He has won both the Governor General's Award in Canada (for The Judgment of Paris) and the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the United States (for Brunelleschi's Dome). His latest book, Leonardo and The Last Supper, was awarded the 2012 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction. He is married to the writer and historian Melanie King, and they have lived for many years in the historic town of Woodstock, near Oxford in England.

Largely educated in Saskatchewan, King has become one of Canada's most widely recognised writers. What makes him unique is his apparently easy combination of deft storytelling and serious scholarship. A true public scholar, he teaches through delight, often giving tours and lectures in Italy, France or Canadian and American art museums, and raising funds for the conservation of Italian Renaissance art. He understands his subject matter deeply. Patiently and with great clarity, he conveys to readers the most abstruse details, such as the engineering problems and solutions that are at the core of his work on Brunelleschi. He understands the technical problems Renaissance painters faced when mixing colours and the particular challenges of work in fresco. He also has a feeling for the psychology of such diverse personalities as Leonardo, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi. As Time magazine has stated, he has made a career out of elucidating pivotal moments in the history of art, and in placing iconic artworks within their complicated and often turbulent historical contexts.
Degree received: Doctor of Letters
Degree presented by: David Parkinson

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