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Enggass, Robert

    Full Name: Enggass, Robert

    Other Names:

    • Robert Enggass

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 20 December 1921

    Date Died: 22 December 2003

    Place Born: Detroit, Wayne, MI, USA

    Place Died: Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Career(s): art historians


    Italianist art historian and translator.  Enggass was the son of Clarence H. Enggass (b. 1884?) and Helen Strasburger (Enggass).  During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps in 1942.  After the war graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1946.  He entered the University of Michigan, receiving his M.A. in 1949.  The same year he married Catherine Ann Cavanaugh (1924-2015).  Enggass received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1955. Written under Harold E. Wethey, the topic was a catalogue raisonné of Giovanni Battista Gaulli.  While finishing his dissertation, he taught as an instructor at Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, 1955-1956.  Enggass taught professionally, first as an assistant professor at Williams College, 1956-1957 and the University of Buffalo, 1957- 1958 before joining the faculty of Pennsylvania State University in 1958. At Penn he served as Chairman of the Graduate Program beginning in 1960 and was promoted to associate professor;  he was appointed Acting Head, Art History Department, 1963. Engass was awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship to study at the University of Rome for the 1963-1964 year.  Among the historians in Rome, he developed a long friendship with  Luigi Salerno.  Returning to the United States, he served as Chairman of the Art Department at Louisiana State University, 1965-1966 before re-joining Penn State as a full Professor Art History in 1966. There he published two books, Baciccio, (1966) and Italy and Spain 1600-1750, in the Sources and Documents in Art History series in 1970; augmented by Kress grants, 1966-1970.

    He joined the Art History Department at the University of Kansas in 1971.  His Early 18th Century Sculpture in Rome, 1976, received the Borghese Prize in 1977.  Together with his wife, he published for the Vatican Nicola Pio’s Le vite di pittori scultori et architetti in 1977.  His friendship with Salerno resulted in his translation with his wife, Catherine, in several of Salerno’s books into English, including his Pittori di paesaggio del seicento a Roma.  Enggass finished his career as Callaway Professor of Art History at the University of Georgia in 1979. His interest in making primary source material available to English readers led himself and Catherine to publish translations of Carlo Malvasia’s Life of Guido Reni in 1980 and Carlo Ridolfi’s biography of Tintoretto, 1984.  He retired to Ann Arbor where he died.

    Enggass’ commitment to primary and secondary Italian-language art history material available in English carried through his career.  In addition to the translations of Pio and Malvasia’s work, he translated and published scholarship by Salerno.  All these translations were co-translated with his wife, Catherine.

    Selected Bibliography

    • [dissertation:] The Religious Paintings of Giovanni Battista Gaulli. University of Michigan, 1955;
    • The Painting of Baciccio, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, 1639-1709. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1964.
    • Translated. Baldinucci, Filippo. The life of Bernini.  University Park,PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1966.
    • and Brown, Jonathan.  Italy and Spain, 1600-1750; sources and documents.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall, 1970.
    • Early Eighteenth-century Sculpture in Rome: an Illustrated Catalogue Raisonné.  University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976.
    • Translated, Salerno, Luigi. Pittori di paesaggio del seicento a Roma/Landscape Painters of the Seventeenth Century in Rome. Rome: U. Bozzi, 1977;
    • translated, Nicolar, Pio. Le vite di pittori, scultori et architetti (cod. ms. Capponi 257).
      Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1977.
    • translated. Ridolfi, Carlo, The life of Tintoretto, and of his children Domenico and Marietta.  University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, c1984.


    • Julier, Insley. [finding aid for] Luigi Salerno research papers, 1948-1996. Getty Research Center.
    • Ann Arbor News on Dec. 31, 2003;
    • Whos’ Who in American Art 1996



    "Enggass, Robert." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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