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  • Americanist art historian; first associate director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Abbott was born to Arthur Abbott and Flora Parkman (Abbott). After attending Dexter High School, Abbott graduated from Bowdin College with a bachelor's degree in science and attended graduate school at Harvard University in physics. At Harvard he met Alfred Barr, Jr. (q.v.) who would become the first director of the Museum of Modern Art. Barr and Abbott spent time in Paris studying art.
  • Art educator and theorist, applied Marxist and psychological approaches to his interpretations of art. Sponsored by Barnes Foundation to study in France. Taught: Antioch College, 1925-27; Acadia University (Canada), 1928-43; Michigan State University, 1943-56.
  • Gérôme and 19th-century French art scholar. Ackerman graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952 with a B.A. He moved to Munich where he studied at the Maximillien University under Hans Sedlmayr (q.v.) between 1956-1958 before returning to the United States where he began teaching as an art history lecturer at Bryn Mawr. He received his MFA at Princeton University in 1960, continuing for his Ph.D. in 1964 with a thesis, written under Erwin Panofsky (q.v.) and Rensselaer Lee (q.v.), on the Trattato of Giovanni Lomazzo (q.v.).

  • Architectural historian and professor of Fine Arts, Harvard University, 1960-. Ackerman's father, Lloyd Stuart Ackerman (1882-1968), was a prosperous San Francisco attorney and his mother, Louise Sloss (Ackerman) (1888-1983), was later a librarian at the San Francisco Museum of Art (today the SF Museum of Modern Art). Art as a child, he was exposed to art when his family toured European museums in 1932. At age 15, he read Vision and Design by Roger Fry, which opened him to the formal interpretation of art.

  • Social historian, novelist; author of a book on medieval architecture. Adams' parents were the diplomat and congressman Charles Francis Adams, Sr. (1807-1886) and shipping heiress Abigail Brooks Adams (1808-1889); he was the grandson of President John Quincy Adams and great-grandson of President John Adams. Adams attended Dixwell School before Harvard College--an experience he valued little--graduating in 1858. Among his life-long friends he met at Harvard was the future architect Henry Hobson Richardson.
  • Medievalist; manuscripts scholar New York University. Alexander edited the important Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles beginning in 1975.
  • Art educator, museum curator and art historian; early exponent of postwar American art to the European public and coiner of the term "pop art." Alloway was the son of a bookseller. As a child he contracted tuberculosis which interrupted his formal education. While a teenager he wrote short "filler" book reviews for the Sunday London Times. He attended classes at the University of London Birbeck night college, but he never received a degree.

  • Scholar of Dutch baroque art; professor of History of Art, UC Berkeley,1962-1994; exponent of the "new art history." Born Svetlana Leontief, she graduated from Radcliffe College with a B.A. in 1957. She married the following year, assuming her husband's surname of Alpers. She continued graduate work in art history at Harvard University publishing an article on Vasari's verbal descriptions of art (ekphrasis) in 1960 in the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, which announced her innovative approach to art history.
  • 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.).
  • University of California, Santa Barbara medievalist architectural historian. Armi was the son of Edgar Leo Armi and Emita December (Armi). He graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University with a B. A. in 1967, continuing for his M.A. and Ph.D. After research as a Woodrow Wilson fellow, 1970-1972, his dissertation on Romanesque wall structure was accepted in 1973. Armi secured an appointment at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor in 1974. He remained there until 1977 where moved to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as an associate professor of art history.
  • Director of the Walker Art Center 1951-1961; wrote a popular survey of modern art. Arnason was born to Sveinbjorn and Maria Bjarnadottir (Arnason), Icelandic immigrants to Canada. He attended the University of Manitoba for two years (1925-1927) before immigrating to the United States. There he attended Northwestern University, achieving his B.S. in 1931. In 1936 he married Elizabeth Hickox Yard and taught as an instructor. After gaining his A.M. in 1937, Arnason continued to study art at Princeton University where he was awarded an M.F.A. in 1939. He was made a naturalized citizen in 1940.
  • Philosopher of perception and art; used Gestalt psychology for his art-historical studies. Arnheim was the son of Georg Arnheim (1867-1944), a piano factory owner, and Betty Gutherz (Arnheim) (1879-1966). He was raised in Berlin, attending the Herdergymnasium (Abitur 1923). His parents intended him to assume the family business, but beginning in 1923 Arnheim, studied art and music history, philosophy and psychology at the University of Berlin with Gestalt-based scholars Wolfgang Köhler (1887-1967) and Kurt Lewin (1890-1947). His Ph.D.
  • New York Times critic, professor at Cooper Hewitt and scholar of the New York School of art. Aston was the daughter of Ralph Neil Ashton and Sylvia Smith Shapiro (Ashton). Her father was a medical doctor. She obtained a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1949, continuing for an M.A. at Harvard University the following year. Ashton began her career as associate editor of the magazine Art Digest, published in New York beginning in 1951. She married Adja Yunkers (d.1983), an artist, in 1953.
  • Askew's father was the art historian Arthur McComb (q.v.) and mother Constance Atwood. She was born while her father was teaching art history at Vassar. Her parents were divorced when she was young and her step father, the art dealer R. Kirk Askew (1903-1974), adopted her. Askew grew up in New York City. As a college student, she majored in English at Vassar College. Her A.M. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University was completed in 1951. She completed her dissertation at the Courtauld Institute under Johannes Wilde (q.v.), writing on Domenico Fetti.
  • Medievalist and educator; director of the Société français d'archéologie; and professor of the l'école de Chartes, l'école du Louvre, l'école des Beaux-Arts. Aubert's father was an architect (d. 1891). Aubert attended the Lycée Condorcet and then the École Nationale des Chartes. At the École a thesis on the Cathedral of Senlis under the Romanesque scholar Robert de Lasteyrie in 1907. Aubert joined the Department of Prints of the Bibliothèque nationale in 1909, rising to assistant librarian in the department in 1911.
  • Director of the Wadsworth Atheneum, early exponent of modern art in America. Austin was born to wealthy Boston parents, his father was a research, Arthur Everett Austin, Sr.(1861-1938) and his mother, Laura Ann Etnier (Austin) (1864-1944), who was herself independently wealthy. Raised essentially by his mother, Austin attended local grammar schools and visited Europe as a child. Never a good student, he entered Harvard but was asked to leave because of poor grades.
  • Medieval art scholar and chair of Department of Art, Wellesley College; influential in1920s-30s. Avery graduated from Wellesley in 1891 majoring in Greek. She taught Greek and Latin briefly before moving to the University of the State of New York, Albany. She was employed in the library system at Albany, organizing the first traveling library and working on a bachelors in library science which she received in 1895. While a librarian organizing pictures for schools and clubs, she became interested in art.
  • German specialist in Asian art history, including East Asian, Southeast Asian, and Indian art and sculpture. Bachhofer began his studies in 1916 before a tour of service as a soldier in the First World War. He returned to his studies in 1918 in Munich studying art  history (under Heinrich Wölfflin, archaeology, philosophy and ethnography of Asia under Lucian Scherman (1864-1946). He completed a dissertation on Japanese woodcuts under these men (whom it is unclear).

  • Americanist art historian and professor of art history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Baigell graduated undergraduate from the University of Vermont in 1954 and received his M.A. from Columbia University in 1955. He married Renee Moses in 1959. His Ph.D. was awarded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He served in the U.S. Air Force between 1955-57 as lieutenant. Between 1961-65 was an instructor at Ohio State University, advancing to assistant professor, 1965-67, and then associate professor of art, 1967-68.
  • Vassar faculty member from 1931 to 1968 known for lectures on 14th and 15th century Italian painters; lead Vassar College wartime defense program during WWII. Barber was raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated with a B.A. from Bryn Mawr in philosophy and psychology while she studying under famed medievalist and art historian Georgiana Goddard King. She received an M.A. in art history from Radcliffe in medieval sculpture and Renaissance painting, continuing graduate work at Radcliffe until 1931.

  • Collector
  • Founder, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Barr was the son of a Presbyterian minister, Alfred Hamilton Barr, Sr., and a homemaker Annie Elizabeth Wilson (Barr). The family moved to Baltimore where Barr was raised. His childhood friends included Edward Stauffer King (q.v.), later director of the Walters Art Gallery. Barr graduated at age 16 (valedictorian) from high school and entered Princeton University in 1918. At that the same year he read Henry Adam's Mont Saint Michel and Chartres influencing him toward art history.
  • Explored transformation of Classicism into Baroque; suggested "anti-Renaissance" as intermediary term (versus Mannerism).
  • Americanist and Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1968-74. Baur was the son of a Yale professor of archaeology, Paul V. C. Baur (1872-1951) and mother Susan Whiting. The younger Baur attended Yale, graduating with a B.A. in English in 1932. Finding little teaching work during the height of the depression, he returned to Yale on an art history scholarship. At Yale he studied with Henri Focillon (q.v.) and Marcel Aubert (q.v.). His 1934 M.A. thesis was on a topic of baroque art.
  • Scholar of Italian Renaissance art who employed postmodernist and social-history methods. Baxandall's parents were the museum director David Baxandall (q.v.) and Isobel Thomas (Baxandall). He attended Manchester Grammar School, Manchester, England, and then Downing College, Cambridge University where he received an A. M. At Cambridge, the literary critic William Empson (1906-1984) and literary scholar Frank Raymond Leavis (1895-1978) helped him form a lingual approach to culture. He continued study at the University in Pavia and Munich.
  • Winslow Homer scholar and professor of art, Bowdoin College, 1936-1978. Beam's parents were Millard Filmore Beam and Georgia Bettye Avera (Beam). He graduated from Harvard University, cum laude in 1933, joining the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art (later Nelson-Atkins Museum) in Kansas City, MO, the same year, under Paul Gardner (q.v.), and working with Otto Wittmann (q.v.). Beam was appointed professor at the Kansas City Art Institute as well. He traveled to London receiving a Certificate of the Courtauld Institute in 1936.
  • Columbia University professor of art history for Italian Renaissance; critic of vigorous art restoration. Beck was the son of Samuel Beck, a businessman, and Margaret Weisz (Beck). He studied history, political science and painting at Oberlin, graduating with a B. A. in 1952. He continued study in studio art at New York University, gaining his master's degree in studio in 1954, and then studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence with the hopes of becoming a painter. There he met and married Darma Tercinod in 1956.
  • Americanist art historian and architect. Belknap came to art history comparatively late in his career. His father, of the same name (1873-1943), was a vice president of Bankers Trust. His mother was Rey Sealy Hutchings Belknap (1885-1960). Belknap graduated magna cum laude at St. Paul's School, Concord, NH, in 1916 and attended Harvard University. Although his college years were interrupted by war service, he nevertheless graduated with his class in 1920. Following his father's profession, he worked in various finance and investment firms in New York and London until 1928.
  • First curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, and assistant director, Pennsylvania Museum of Art (later Philadelphia Museum of Art). Bell's father was Robert Courtenay Bell (1816-1896), a banker, and mother Clara Poynter (Bell) ( 1834-1927). He was distantly related on his mother's side to Edward Burne-Jones and the writer Rudyard Kipling. Poynter, Bell's uncle, married Agnes Macdonald, a sister of Burne-Jones's wife; she was in turn aunt of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).
  • Self-taught historian and critic of American art.
  • Influential scholar of the Italian Renaissance employing connoisseurship; consultant to the major American museums and collectors in the early 20th century. Berenson was born to Albert (originally Alter) Valvrojenski and Julia (originally Eudice) Mickleshanski (Valvrojenski). His father emigrated to Boston from Lithuania with his family in 1875, changing their family name to "Berenson." Bernard Berenson was educated at the Latin School, Boston. A Jew by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885.
  • Wife of Bernard Berenson and scholar of Italian paintings. Mary Berenson was born Mary Smith to Robert Pearsall Smith (1827-1899), an evangelizing preacher and Hannah Whitall (Smith) (1832-1911), both of Quaker extraction. She was given the nick-name "Mariechen" (little Mary) by a German nursemaid. She attended Smith College and Harvard Annex (later Radcliffe College). At Harvard Annex she met the Scots-Irish Benjamin Francis Conn "Frank" Costelloe (1855-1899). The future barrister and political reformer and Smith married in 1885. The couple lived in England where they had two children.
  • Modernist art historian and art librarian, professor University of Kansas. Berger studied art history under Heinrich Wölfflin (q.v.), Adolph Goldschmidt (q.v.), Graf Vitzthum von Eckstädt (q.v.) and Paul Frankl (q.v.) at the respective universities of Munich, Berlin, Heidelberg and Göttingen. He completed his dissertation under Moritz Geiger in aesthetics at Göttingen in 1925, his topic addressing Wölfflin's methodology. From 1926-28 was an assistant and one of the earliest collaborators at the Warburg Library in Hamburg, under Fritz Saxl (q.v.).
  • Harvard professor and director of the Walters Art Gallery and Cleveland Museum of Art. Bergman attended Rutgers University undergraduate, graduating in 1966. His master's degree, 1969 and Ph.D., 1972, were both awarded from Princeton University. He received Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. His dissertation, written under Kurt Weitzmann (q.v.) was on the Salerno Ivories. In 1971 he taught as an assistant at Princeton, joining Harvard in 1976 as associate professor of fine arts. He published a revised version of his thesis in 1980.
  • Museum curator, authority on early Christian, Byzantian, Islamic and early Nordic art and textiles. Berliner's parents were Theodor Berliner, a protestant from Jewish extraction, who owned a factory, and Philippine Wollner (Berliner). Beginning in 1904, Berliner studied art history in Berlin, Heidelberg and Vienna under Max Dvořák, earning his doctorate in 1910 with a dissertation on the dating of a Greek manuscript miniature painting.
  • Medievalist art historian and professor; wrote on phenomenology. Bernheimer was born into a prominent family of art dealers, Bernheimer of Munich. In the early 20th century, the firm was one of the most important dealerships in precious materials, antiquities, Gobelins and oriental carpets. Between 1925-30, Bernheimer studied art history (both Western and Oriental) as well as archeology in Munich, Berlin and Rome with Wilhelm Pinder (q.v.), Adolph Goldschmidt (q.v.), August Liebmann Mayer (q.v.), Hans Kauffmann (q.v.), Werner Weisbach (q.v.) and Hans Hildebrandt (q.v.).
  • Archaeologist and art historian of ancient theater. Bieber was the daughter of Jacob Heinrich Bieber, a factory owner, and Valli Bukofzer (Bieber). In 1899 she was privately tutored in Berlin, receiving her Abitur. In Berlin she studied under Hermann Diels (1848-1922), Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848-1931), and Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz. In 1904 she moved to Bonn to study under Georg Loeschke as well as Paul Clemen and Franz Bücheler (1837-1908).
  • Riemenschneider scholar, professor and director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Bier grew up in a wealthy Nuremberg family. He attended the Humanistisches Gymnasium in that city. After graduation in 1917, he fought in the first World War 1917-18. Between 1919 and 1924 Bier studied art history, archaeology, and medieval and modern history at the universities in Munich, Erlangen, Jena, Bonn and finally Zürich. His major professors were Paul Clemen (q.v.) and Heinrich Wölfflin (q.v.).
  • 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.
  • Gentileschi (family) scholar; University of Michigan Italianist art historian. Bissell was the son of Raymond A. Bissell (1909-1992) a heating & air dealer, and Elizabeth I Weston (Bissell) (1906-1993). He received his Ph.D. in 1968, writing his dissertation on Orazio Gentileschi under Harold E. Wethey (q.v.). He wrote a book on Orazio in 1981. Gentileschi's daughter, Aremisia, was at the same time rising in interest due to women's studies courses. Bissell published the catalogue raisonné on the work of Artemisia in 1998. He retired from the University in 2006.
  • Classicist and curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1942-1967. Levine was the daughter of Samuel Levine and Bertha Nanes (Levine). She attended Wayne University (the modern Wayne State University) between 1932 and 1934 before switching to New York University.  She graduated with a B. F. A in 1936, continuing for her master's degree at the university's Institute of Fine Arts with a thesis on Greek painted grave stelai, written under Karl Lehmann in 1938.

  • New York University Institute of Fine Arts professor of classical art history. Blanckenhagen's lectures drew large crowds at the Institute. "Seemingly without notes or preparation he would speak eloquently for an hour on each statue, and sometimes for it, making it seem as if ancient statues, whether male or female, possessed deep, rich, German-accented voices" (Nelson).

  • UCLA art history professor, 1956-1975; founding director of Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts; Americanist. Bloch was the son of Leonard Bloch and Rose von Auspitz (Bloch). He graduated from New York University with a B.F.A., intent on becoming an artist, in 1939. After a short stint at Harvard University for graduate study in 1940, he returned to NYU and the Institute of Fine Arts, where his A.M. was granted in 1942.
  • Scholar of Northern Renaissance art, and modernist curator. Blum was born Shirley Neilsen to Melvin Louis Neilsen (1902-1974) and Anna Keyes (Neilsen) (1903-2001) in Petaluma, California. Her father was a medical doctor. She attended Stockton College in California, receiving an A. A. in 1953. In 1955 she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago receiving an M.A. under the direction of Joshua Taylor (q.v.). The same year, she married the gallery dealer and later museum director Walter C. Hopps (q.v.) in a ceremony at the Watts Towers in Los Angeles.

  • Columbia University anthropologist who wrote an early text on indigenous art forms. Boas was the son of Meier Boas and Sophie Meyer (Boas). He attended Bonn, Heidelberg, and Kiel universities studying physics, mathematics, and geography, the latter under the distinguished Theobald Fischer. Boas obtained his doctorate in physics at the University of Kiel in 1881. A non-religious Jew, he was fascinated by the theories of geographical determinism in Europe at the time.
  • Critic, essay on Mona Lisa.

  • Art historian of medieval and the early Renaissance art and historiography. Bober was born to Hyman and Fanny Newman (Bober) and raised in Brooklyn, NY. His parents were eastern European Jews who had emigrated to the United States before World War I. In Brooklyn he attended Boy's High School, the public grade school, before entering the City University of New York to become an artist. There he met George William Eggers, the chair of the CUNY art department, who steered him from studio art to art history.
  • Scholar of Renaissance art and its relationship to classical antiquity and Leslie Clark Professor in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College. Pray was the daughter of Melvin Francis Pray and Lea Arlene Royer (Pray), of French-Canadian ancestry. She graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School in Portland in 1937, continuing to Wellesley College in where she received a B. A. in 1941 (majored in art and minored in Greek).