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Edith W. Kirsch

(b Cincinnati, March 25, 1904; d Princeton, June 12, 1975).

American art historian. He was educated at the universities of Princeton (BA) and New York (MA, PhD), lecturing at the latter from 1931 to 1933. He subsequently became Lecturer and finally Professor of Fine Arts and Archaeology at Columbia University (1934–53); Professor as well as Curator of Paintings at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University (1954–8); Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, from 1958 to 1975. He was editor of the Art Bulletin from 1940 to 1942, an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Medieval Academy of America, receiving the Haskins Medal in 1953; he was also a corresponding member of a number of foreign societies, including the British Academy, the Société des Antiquaires de France and the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence. A student of ...

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Michael Podro and Margaret Barlow

(b Hannover, March 30, 1892; d Princeton, NJ, March 14, 1968).

German art historian, active in the USA. He wrote primarily on late medieval and Renaissance art in northern Europe and Italy, mostly, but by no means exclusively, on painting.

Panofsky’s doctoral dissertation (1915) was on the relation of Dürer’s theory of art to that in Renaissance Italy; in 1923 he and Fritz Saxl published a study of Dürer’s engraving Melencolia I. In 1926 he became the first professor of art history at the new university of Hamburg, where he was closely involved with Ernst Cassirer (1874–1945), the professor of philosophy, and with Saxl and Aby Warburg at the Bibliothek Warburg. Panofsky’s name is often narrowly associated with the search for the subject-matter of paintings through reference to traditional imagery and literature. However, his writing always involved a much more ambitious and coherent mode of critical interpretation: he sought consistently to place individual works of art in relation to what he took to be an underlying aspect of the human situation, the reciprocity between ‘objectivity’—our receptive relation to the external world—and ‘subjectivity’—the constructive activity of our thought....