"Nicht alles Wissen Wissenwertes sei!"
[Not everything knowable is worth knowing]
-art historian Wilhlem Waetzoldt 1880-1945

Dictionary of Art Historians from Duke DAHVC Research Lab on Vimeo.


The Dictionary of Art Historians is a free, privately funded biographical dictionary of historians of western art written and maintained by scholars for the benefit of the public. It became associated with the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies of Duke University in January of 2010. From 2016 on, it has been sponsored by the Duke Digital Art History & Visual Culture Research Lab.

Initially conceived as a methodologic tool for English-language readers, the Dictionary of Art Historians compiles the documented facts of an historian's life, post-retirement or posthumously, in order to serve as a background for understanding a specific text and the historiography of art. The DAH was begun in the fall of 1986 as a notecard project by indexing the historians cited in Eugene Kleinbauer's Research Guide to the History of Western Art (1982) and his Modern Perspectives in Western Art History (1971), Heinrich Dilly's Kunstgeschichte als Institution (1979) and some of Kultermann's Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte (1966), now in translation as The History of Art History (1993). In 1996 the Dictionary was input electronically and in 2002 migrated to the internet. In 2018, the project underwent a major redesign and is again in active development, supported by Duke University's Digital Art History & Visual Culture Research Lab, of which it is now a part. Subjects selected for inclusion are based solely by their reference in the historiographic literature (see bibliography link) and are not the selection of the editors.

Permanent Staff