Mayer, Leo Ary [Arie, Aryeh]
- Sheila S. Blair
- and Jonathan M. Bloom
(b. Stanislav [now Ivano-frankivsk, Ukraine], 12 Jan. 1895; d. Jerusalem, April 6, 1959).
Israeli historian of Islamic art. Born in a city that was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Mayer studied at the universities of Lausanne, Vienna and Berlin and received his Ph.D. at Vienna in 1917 for a thesis on town planning in Islam. A staunch Zionist, he emigrated to Palestine in 1921 where he served as inspector and then librarian in the Department of Antiquities for the Government of Palestine under the British Mandate. When Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was established in 1929, he was appointed lecturer in Islamic Art and Archaeology, and then in 1932 the first Sir David Sassoon Professor of Near Eastern Art and Archaeology. From 1935 to 1949 Mayer was the first local director and also dean and rector of the School of Oriental Studies.
Mayer was interested in many aspects of Islamic art, including coins and works from the Mamluk period. A fine Arabist, he wrote many articles on Arabic epigraphy for the ...