Art Historians Honor Schapiro

Photograph: Meyer Schapiro.

Meyer Schapiro, University Professor Emeritus and dean of America's art historians, received a special award for lifetime achievement from the College Art Association at its 83rd annual conference in San Antonio, Tex., on Jan. 27.

Schapiro, who has been a member of the association since 1926, was cited for a brilliant career of seven decades of scholarship and teaching in the field of art history.

The citation text follows:

"Meyer Schapiro, you have been a member of the College Art History Association since 1926. Your membership has conferred honor upon us..

"We are proud of our connection to you and proud of the fact that the CAA published your 1929 dissertation on the sculptures in the French abbey at Moissac in the Art Bulletin.

"You have brought the vast range of your knowledge to illuminate many works of art and periods from early Christian art to 19th-century French realism to abstract expressionism. You brilliantly opened the discipline to all kinds of neighboring fields, spinning out political, philosophical and ideological interpretations that drew from a dazzling and even bewildering variety of evidence--social and urban history, literature, intellectual history, popular culture, psychology and semiotics.

"You were years ahead of the discipline.

"You have bestowed on us a complex view of art, one that starts with the object and goes on to give insight into the creative process, and into the measure of the object within the context of its own time and ours.

"You have used theoretical structures but never dogmatically, always to help us gain understanding.

"Meyer Schapiro, we honor you for 70 years of unique scholarship and perception, for showing us the way in which art history enhances our understanding of human accomplishment."

Columbia University Record -- March 10, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 20