Amyx, Darrell A.
Darrell Arlynn Amyx
Exeter, CA, USA
Corinthian vase painting scholar; co-founder of the History of Art department at the University of California, Berkeley. Amyx attended Stanford University where he received a B. A. in classics in 1930. His graduate work was done at Berkeley. An M.A. in Latin was granted in 1932 (with a thesis on Juvenal). He was a fellow at the American School in Athens for 1935-36. His Ph.D., in Latin and classical archaeology was awarded in 1937. His dissertation, on Eritrean black-figure painting, was written under H. R. W. Smith (q.v.). He married Eleanor Wilkinson, a fellow Latin student at Berkeley, in 1936. After completing his Ph.D., he taught Latin at the University of Chicago from 1939 until 1942. The year he joined the war effort for World War II at the Office of Censorship in San Francisco, serving until 1945. Immediately after the war, he joined the faculty at Berkeley (1946) where he remained the rest of his career. He and the medievalist Walter Horn (q.v.) set about creating a History of Art department at Berkeley. In 1957 he was awarded the first two Guggenheim Fellowships (the second was 1973). He was chair of the Art Department 1966-71 and Curator of Classical Art at the Robert H. Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley (today the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology). From 1968 until 1972 he edited the California Studies in Classical Antiquity. At this time, too, he helped establish the Berkeley excavation at Nemea, Greece. His 1974 Echoes from Olympus is a catalog of an exhibition written by him and his students, the product of an extended seminar. He retired from Berkeley in 1978, acting at a visiting scholar for Indiana University in 1979. In 1988 he was a visiting scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum. His magnum opus, Corinthian Vase Painting, 1988, was an updating of Necrocorinthia by Humfry Payne (q.v.) of 1931. The personal collection of antique objects he and his wife amassed were donated at his retirement to the museum for which he was curator. Amyx was a connoisseur scholar in the tradition of J. D. Beazley. He used a keen eye to further establish the various "hands" of individual artists of archaic Corinthian pottery, a technique first established for renaissance painting by Giovanni Morelli (q.v.).
edited, with Barbara A. Forbes. Echoes from Olympus: Reflections of Divinity in Small-scale Classical Art. Berkeley: University Art Museum, 1974; and Lawrence, Patricia. Studies in Archaic Corinthian Vase Painting. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1996; An Amphora with a Price Inscription in the Hearst Collection at San Simeon. Berkeley: University of California press, 1941; and Lawrence, Patricia. Archaic Corinthian Pottery and the Anaploga Well. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1975; Corinthian Vase-Painting of the Archaic Period. 3 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
mentioned, Boulter, Cedric G. "The Study of Greek Vases." American Journal of Archaeology 85 no. 2. (April 1981):105; Bell, Evelyn E., and Forbes, Barbara A. "Darrell Arlynn Amyx, 1911-1997." American Journal of Archaeology 102, No. 1. (January 1998):179-180.