UCLA is expected to announce Monday that its first endowed chair in the art department will be a photographer: Catherine Opie, the Los Angeles artist whose images have long investigated sexual and gender identity, as well as identifiable aspects of the Southern California landscape, and who has been a member of the art faculty at UCLA since 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The endowment comes courtesy of a $2 million donation from Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of the Wonderful Co. and prominent arts patrons, The Times reported. Among the buildings that bear their name is the Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“This allows my area to grow,” Opie said. “The Resnicks have been really generous, not only to the university as a whole, but I’ve really appreciated what they’ve done for the department.”

In addition to the $2 million that will endow Opie’s position, the Resnicks have committed $500,000 to upgrade the undergraduate photography lab.

The gift also will fund visiting guest lecturers and health insurance for adjunct professors who are carrying full teaching loads.

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