Joseph J. Rishel '62 was a member of the Hobart and William Smith team that became the undefeated champions of the G.E. College Bowl in 1961. The victory brought national attention to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and is attributed for raising both donor interest and prospective students' attention.
In Rishel's unerring quest for knowledge, he discovered an enduring love of art, earning his Ph.D from the University of Chicago and translating his passion into a lifelong career. Today, Rishel serves as the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting Before 1900, and the Senior Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum. With the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 40 years, he has overseen dozens of art exhibits, authoring important works on some of the greatest artists and sculptors in the world.
Rishel's significant accomplishments led to his recent appointment as the Samuel H. Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art, a position reserved for a distinguished art historian who, as the senior member of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, pursues scholarly works and counsels pre-doctoral fellows-in-residence.
Rishel's accomplishments have earned him the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellowship and the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment has been his ability to unselfishly share his expertise and love of art, inspiring future generations of artists and patrons.