Six years ago Marie Deveney was the curator of the Art History Department's nationally renowned slide and photograph collection. Deveney, who has a master's degree in art history, worked her way up from a cataloger's position in 1972 to the point where she was responsible for the department's collection of 250,000 slides and 165,000 photographs. She then attended the U-M Law School (graduating first in her class), and clerked for two years, first for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and then for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
As a law professor, Deveney finds that her teaching and research interests lie principally in the areas of constitutional law, property, and governmental regulation of land use. Of particular interest to her is the role of government in preserving the architectural legacy of our past. She uses the term "cultural preservation" to refer to government's attempts to preserve structures associated with historical events and people as well as those which are deemed worthy of conservation for stylistic, aesthetic, or emotional reasons.
Preservation is a costly activity, both in economic and human terms, she points out. The financial burdens imposed by protective legislation on the owners of historic structures raise concerns of fairness and constitutionality. At the same time, the displacement of the poor and of minorities sometimes occasioned by preservation activities raises difficult ethical and social issues.
These issues form the basis of a seminar Deveney is constructing this semester and a starting point for her initial research and writing projects. It's not surprising that she feels at home as a member of a law school faculty with deep and broad interests in the interaction of law and the humanities.
Deveney is married to Martin S. Pernick, an associate professor of history at the U-M who specializes in the history of medicine and medical ethics.
-- From the University of Michigan Law School's Law Quadrangle Notes, V. 31, Iss. 02 (Winter 1987).
Deveney left Michigan Law in 1993 to practice law.