The Morehead News


June 27, 2013

Shirley Helen Gish Ph.D


6/27/13 — Shirley Helen Gish, Ph.D., Morehead State University retired professor, was born Dec. 17, 1931, in St. Paul, Minn., and passed from this earth on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

Dr. Gish is survived by two sons and two grandchildren, Timothy Donald Haskin and daughter Melissa Remy Haskin of Tucson, Ariz., and Josh Kenneth Haskin and son Jonah Timothy Haskin of Atlantic Highlands, N.J.

After graduating from Johnson High School in St. Paul, Dr. Gish attended the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art on a scholarship. She then entered the Art Department of the University of Minnesota. While there, she had the opportunity to go with the American Field Service plane to Paris. Without means, she went to Paris planning to work. In addition to working as a governess in a French family, she also attended the Academie Julian. Shirley then traveled as a student to Belgium, Holland, Spain and North Africa, through Italy and to Cologne, Germany, where she also worked as a governess until the fall of 1954.

Upon returning to the United States, Shirley worked in New York City for New York University and briefly for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After three years, she returned to St. Paul and returned to the University of Minnesota and completed the B.A. degree in Art History and German. Immediately after graduation, she was hired by H. Harvard Arnason to work at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

She then married Minnesota sculptor Donald Haskin and they opened the first artist Bronze foundry in Mendota, Minn. Mr. Haskin was hired by the University of California at Berkeley.   From 1960 to 1966, they and their two sons experienced the 1960s in the lively art scene of Berkeley. 

Haskin was then hired by the University of Arizona in Tucson to found a sculpture department and build a foundry. Shirley worked there at first teaching art for the Schweitzer School for Gifted Children and then worked managing an International Print Gallery. 

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