Skip to content

Zucker, Paul

    Full Name: Zucker, Paul

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1888

    Date Died: 1971

    Place Born: Berlin, Germany

    Place Died: New York, NY, USA

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Career(s): researchers


    New School for Social Research professor. Zucker’s father, Julius Zucker, was a medical doctor who worked for the sanitation authority. His mother was Anna Samter (Zucker). The younger Zucker attended the Wilhelms-Gymnasium, a humanities high school in Berlin where he graduated in 1907. He studied architecture at the Institute of Technology (Königliche Technische Hochschule) receiving the Diplom-Ingenieur in 1911 and Doktor-Ingenieurs in 1913 in the history of architecture under Richard Borrmann. His dissertation was on the topic of pictorial space in Florentine painting. Between 1912-14 he was an assistant to Max Georg Zimmermann at the Schinkel Museum. He married the concert singer Rose Walter (1890-1962) in 1913. After a year teaching at the Reimann Schule in Berlin, 1914, Zucker joined the faculty in art history as a lecturer (Dozent) at the Lessing Hochschule, 1916-35. He practiced architecture in Berlin between 1919-35, much of it as a city planner. He lectured on architecture in radio broadcasts. His interest in stage design led to his association with avant-garde theatre groups. Among his commissions were the Prussian Bank and many country homes. Zucker was Dean of the Faculty at the Lessing Hochschule, 1930-33. In 1937 he was dismissed from his position by the Nazis because he was a Jew. His journal articles of those last years were sign with initials only to avoid recognition. Zucker emigrated to the United States the same year began teaching at the New School for Social Research in New York, then known as the “University in Exile.” He also lectured at the Fashion Institute, the Dramatic Workshop, and Pratt Institute, Brooklyn in the 1940s and 1950s. He remained at the New School until 1970. In 1938 he was appointed lecturer at the Cooper Union, then Adjunct Professor in 1948. He became an American citizen in 1944. In 1950 Zucker published his Styles in Art, a popular treatment of stylistic analysis in art. He retired in 1963 but retained Visiting Professor status 1964-1969 at the Cooper Union. Zucker was interested in architectural space as a theoretical concept. He also wrote extensively on adult education in the arts.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Raumdarstellungen und Bildarchitekturen bei den florentiner Malern der ersten Häfte des Quattrocento. Berlin, Königliche Technische Hochschule. Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1913; [complete bibliography:] Markowitz, Arnold L. “Paul Zucker: Architect/Art Historian, 1888/1971.” Louis Kahn and Paul Zucker: Two Bibliographies. New York: American Association of Architectural Bibliographers, Garland Press, 1978, pp. 55-145; Entwicklung des Stadtbildes; die Stadt als Form. Munich: Drei Masken Verlag, 1929; Theater und Lichtspielhäuser. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1926; A Platonic Discourse about some Philosophical Problems of Art (X): Between a Young Man, the Student (Y) and /. New York: Cooper Union Art School, 1959; Styles in Painting: a Comparative Study. 2nd ed. New York: Dover Publications,1963; American Bridges and Dams. New York: The Greystone Press, 1941; Town and Square from the Agora to the Village Green. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959; Fascination of Decay: Ruins, Relic, Symbol, Ornament. Ridgewood, NJ: Gregg Press, 1968; and Willich, Hans. Die Baukunst der Renaissance in Italien bis zum Tode Michelangelos. 2 vols. Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft 16. Wildpark-Potsdam: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, 1914-29; Die Theaterdekoration des Klassizismus: eine Kunstgeschichte des Bühnenbildes. Berlin: R. Kaemmerer, 1925.


    Markowitz, Arnold L. “Paul Zucker: Architect/Art Historian, 1888/1971.” Louis Kahn and Paul Zucker: Two Bibliographies. New York: American Association of Architectural Bibliographers, Garland Press, 1978, pp. 55-60; Wendland, Ulrike. Biographisches Handbuch deutschsprachiger Kunsthistoriker im Exil: Leben und Werk der unter dem Nationalsozialismus verfolgten und vertriebenen Wissenschaftler. Munich: Saur, 1999, vol. 2, pp. 810-813; obituary: New York Times February 16, 1971, p. 36.


    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen


    Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen. "Zucker, Paul." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: