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Birkmeyer, Karl M.

    Full Name: Birkmeyer, Karl M.

    Other Names:

    • Karl Martin Birkmeyer

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1918

    Place Born: Hamburg, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Baroque


    Professor of Baroque art, UCLA. Birkmeyer received his Ph.D. from Humbolt University in 1943. With the victory of the Allies over Germany in 1945, Birkmeyer was made Chief advisor and administrator to the Fine Arts & Architecture section of the American Military government in Bavaria, concluding his services in 1948. He immigrated to the United States where he was appointed assistant professor of art history at Stanford University in 1950. He moved the the University of California, Los Angeles in 1953, rising to professor of art in 1962. He chaired the department of art 1966-1968. His students included Shirley Blum. His article on Realism and Velázquez came to several unusual conclusions. One, that the distant portrait of the king and queen in the picture Las Meninas was a later addition, has not been widely accepted.

    Selected Bibliography

    “Observations on the Tour of Berlin Masterpieces.” College Art Journal 9, no. 1 (Autumn 1949): 19-24; “Realism and Realities in the Paintings of Velasquez.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 6 no. 52 (July 1958): 63-80; “The Arch Motif in Netherlandish Painting of the Fifteenth Century: A Study in Changing Religious Imagery.” Art Bulletin 43, no. 2 (June 1961): 99-112; “Notes on the Two Earliest Paintings by Rogier van der Weyden.” Art Bulletin 44, no. 4 (December 1962):. 329-331;


    Directory of American Scholars. 6th ed., vol. 1: History. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1974, p. 51; Who’s Who in America. 40th ed., 1978-1979; Collector and connoisseur E. Maurice Bloch: oral history transcript. Bernard Galm, interviewer. 2 vols. [Los Angeles: Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, 1991, mentioned.


    "Birkmeyer, Karl M.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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