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Robb, David M.

    Full Name: Robb, David M.

    Other Names:

    • David Metheny Robb

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1903

    Date Died: 1990

    Place Born: Tak Hing Chau, China

    Place Died: Scituate, Plymouth, MA, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): Medieval (European)

    Career(s): educators


    Medievalist art historian; professor at University of Pennsylvania. Robb graduated from Oberlin College 1926 and began his teaching career as an associate professor of the history of art from 1930 to 1935 at Colgate University. He was a professor of fine arts at the University of Minnesota from 1935 to 1939. In 1935 he wrote one of the early surveys of the history of art in the United States with J. J. Garrison, his Art of the Western World. It went into many subsequent editions and built a reputation for him as an art history teacher. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania in 1939. Robb continued to study art history at the graduate level, eventually receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1941 under Charles Rufus Morey, He advanced to professor of the history of art at Pennsylvania. Robb was president of the Art Association of America in 1960. He retired emeritus in 1974. He was also a Guggenheim fellow and Fulbright scholar.  His students included Samuel Y. Edgerton.

    Selected Bibliography

    • [dissertation:] The Romanesque Sculpture of Languedoc and Spain in the Late XI and Early XII Centuries. Princeton University, 1941.
    • and Garrison, J. J. Art in the Western World. New York: Harper, 1935;
    • The Harper History of Painting: the Occidental Tradition. New York: Harper, 1951
    • The Art of the Illuminated Manuscript. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Art Alliance, 1973;


    • [obituaries:] “David M. Robb, 86; Scholar, Teacher, Art Historian.” Boston Globe, April 11, 1990, p. 94;
    • “David M. Robb, Art Historian, 86.” The New York Times, April 11, 1990, Section D, p. 26,


    "Robb, David M.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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