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Koch, Robert

    Full Name: Koch, Robert

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1918

    Date Died: 2003

    Place Born: New York, NY, USA

    Place Died: Stamford, Fairfield, CT, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States


    Early scholar of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Southern Connecticut State College professor. Koch was born to Millard and Ella Heidelberg (Koch). He gained his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1939 and a master’s degree from New York University. He married Gladys L. Rooff in 1942. During World War II, he served in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945. He was appointed assistant instructor at Queen’s College from 1951 to 1953, returning to graduate school at Yale University, working as an assistant. He joined Southern Connecticut State College, New Haven, as an assistant professor in 1956. Koch, received his Ph. D., in art history from Yale in 1957. The following year he curated an exhibition of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work for the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York. The exhibition is credited with reving the interest in Tiffany Art Nouveau objects. He was appointed associate in 1959. Koch published his Ph.D thesis in a revised form as “Louis Comfort Tiffany, Rebel in Glass,” in 1964. He was promoted to (full) professor in 1966. With his wife, Koch also ran an antiques dealership. In 1972 Koch discovered a very early, and very rare, Tiffany, one that had probably been made by the designer personally. He retired as a professor emeritus in 1979. In 2002 Koch donated his rare Tiffany find to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He should not be confused with the Princeton art historian Robert Koch born only one year later.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] The Stained Glass Decades: A Study of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and the Art Nouveau in America, Yale, 1957; Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848-1933. New York: Museum of Contemporary Crafts of the American Craftsmen’s Council, 1958; Louis C. Tiffany: Rebel in Glass. New York:Crown Publishers, 1966; Louis C. Tiffany’s Art Glass. New York: Crown Publishers, 1977.


    [obituary:] Hecker, Don R. “Robert Koch, 85, an Arts Expert Who Helped Popularize Tiffany.” New York Times September 3, 2003 p. 17.


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

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