Professor of medieval art and chair of art history at University of California, Berkeley. Stahl was the son of German immigrants. He graduated from Tulane University in 1964 with a B.A. The following year he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Returning to the United States, he was awarded a Bernard Fellowship in memory of Robert Lehman in 1965 to attend New York University. He earned both his M.A. (1966) and Ph.D.(1974) from the University's Institute of Fine Arts. His dissertation, written under Hugo Buchthal, was on miniatures in a manuscript in the Morgan Library. Stahl received a Chester Dale Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. While finishing his dissertation in the early 1970s, Stahl did consulting work at the Cloisters in New York, moving to the Museum's Department of Medieval Art, 1972-73. He was an adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Design and lectured at the Cooper Union College for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Manhattanville College, 1973-80. His later research involved the royal French manuscript illumination particularly the great Psalter of St. Louis, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant in 1976. In 1980 joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1983 Stahl and other Buchthal students organized publication of Buchthal's essays on the art of the Mediterranean world from 100 to 1400 A.D. He married Marissa Moss in 1985. Stahl spent the academic year 2000-01 in Rome. Upon his return, Stahl was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). At the time of his death, Stahl had nearly finished his book on the Psalter of St. Louis, the most important French High Gothic illuminated manuscript. Stahl was a founding member of Berkeley's Congregation Netivot Shalom. Stahl was a scholar of Latin Crusader culture and an authority in French manuscript illumination. He published on Romanesque, Gothic and Later Byzantine periods of art. He was one of the first medievalist art historians to focus on women's visual experiences in the Middle Ages.
[dissertation] The Iconographic Sources of the Old Testament Miniatures, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 638. Ph. D. thesis, New York University, 1974; The Apocalyptic Vision. Purchase, NY: Manhattanville College, 1974; "Narrative Structure and Content in Some Gothic Ivories of the Life of Christ." Images in Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 94-114; "Old Testament Illustration during the Reign of St. Louis: the Morgan Picture Book and the New Biblical Cycles." Il Medio Oriente e l'Occidente nell'arte del XIII secolo. Bologna: CLUEB, 1982, pp 79-93; "Heaven in View: the Place of the Elect in an Illuminated Book of Hours." Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000, pp. 205-232.
San Francisco ChronicleJune 29, 2002, p. A19; Historians of Netherlandish Art, In Memorium Harvey Stahl, http://www.hnanews.org/2002/memoriam.htm; "Harvey Stahl, longtime UC Berkeley Professor of Art History, dies at 61." Berkeley News release, http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2002/06/27_stahl.