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A distinguished, longtime member of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s art department died Thursday, Nov. 22, due to complications with cancer treatment.

Paul S. Donhauser, 71, taught design and ceramics at the University from 1965 to 2004, receiving the John McNaughton Rosebush Professorship in 1983 and becoming an endowed professor in 1995. He also taught for a time at Illinois State University, Lawrence University and Madison Area Technical College.

“Paul Donhauser had a long, distinguished career of nearly 40 years in the College as an enormously talented ceramicist, sculptor and teacher. He was renowned on our campus, as well as in national and international circles, for his wonderful works of art and for his dedicated instruction and mentoring of students,” said John Koker, College of Letters and Science dean.

Donhauser crafted an outstanding career as an artist, working in both clay and painting. He contributed to numerous publications and authored “A History of American Ceramics.” He won many honors in the field of ceramics, most notably a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Visual Arts.

Donhauser was the first American to win the Grand Prize at the International Ceramics Competition in Faenza, Italy. His work is owned and displayed by countless private collectors as well as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Prudential Plaza in Chicago, Ill.

“Paul was a highly dedicated and consummate teacher, but he never forgot that he was a professional ceramicist and painter. He helped me, personally, to understand how to dedicate myself to teaching and to art without sacrificing on either end,” said Jeff Lipschutz, art department chairperson.

“He taught generations of students who will never forget him. He was a role model,” said Lipschutz, adding that the faculty and students have Donhauser to thank for the University’s ceramics studio located on the Fox River.

A memorial service and celebration of Donhauser’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Paul Donhauser Art-Student Scholarship Fund through the UW Oshkosh Foundation.

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