Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Leo Steinberg research papers
Date (inclusive): 1945-1996 (bulk 1950-1993)
Steinberg, Leo, 1920-2011
12.0 linear feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
Art historian, critic, lecturer, and professor. The papers consist of research notes, correspondence relating to Steinberg's
lectures and essays, papers written by his students, several versions of some of his essays, an abandoned dissertation project,
and many of his notebooks from courses he took at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York. The archive reflects Steinberg's career
as an art critic, lecturer, and teacher, ca. 1945-ca.1996.
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Language: Collection material is in
Leo Steinberg, art historian, critic, lecturer and professor, was born in Russia in 1920 and lived in Berlin and London before
emigrating to the United States in 1938. After studying at the Slade School of Art in London, he entered the Institute of
Fine Arts at New York University in the mid-1950s (Ph.D., 1960), where he studied art and architecture with historians Harry
Bober, Richard Krautheimer, Karl Lehmann, Wolfgang Lotz, Erwin Panofsky, Alfred Salmony and Charles Sterling. In 1958 and
1959 he was a guest of the American Academy in Rome, where he researched and wrote his dissertation on the baroque architect
Steinberg taught drawing and art history at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York from
1961 to 1975, and ended his teaching career as Benjamin Franklin Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1975-1991).
His lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio School in New York, Columbia University, and elsewhere attracted
a broad audience of artists, art lovers and scholars. As an art critic, he is known for his writings on historical subjects
and individual artists, as well as on modern and contemporary art subjects.
Published works range from short reviews and essays to book-length studies and include
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, a study in multiple form and architectual symbolism, 1960;
Jasper Johns, 1963;
Other Criteria, 1972 (compilation of 18 essays);
Michelangelo's last paintings, the Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cappella Paolina, Vatican
The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance art and in modern oblivion, 1983.
Leo Steinberg is the first art historian to receive the Award in Literature from the American Academy and the Institute for
Arts and Letters (1983). He also received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism from the College
Art Association (1984), and a MacArthur Fellowship (1986).
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Leo Steinberg research papers, 1945-1996 (bulk 1950-1993), Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 930046.
Received from Leo Steinberg, in two acquisitions, 1993, 1996.
Jocelyn Gibbs processed and wrote a box list for the first acquisition (accession no. 930046). A supplementary acquisition
(accession no. 960096) was moved to this collection and processed by Rose Lachman.
Additions received in 2012 and 2013 are not yet processed.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Leo Steinberg Research Papers consist of research notes, correspondence relating to his lectures and essays, papers written
by his students, several versions of some of his essays, an abandoned dissertation project, and many of his notebooks from
courses he took at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. The archive reflects Steinberg's career as an art critic,
lecturer and teacher from ca. 1945-ca. 1996. Correspondence from ca.1993-1996 consists mainly of letters and notes by Steinberg
about the archive.
The research notes and course notebooks, which contain numerous photographs, give a clear picture of Steinberg's topics of
interest. The artists he concentrated on include Francesco Borromini, Auguste Rodin and Titian (boxes 1-8). The correspondence
deals mostly with lectures he gave at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and elsewhere (boxes 9-10); the publication series refers
almost exclusively to the essays compiled in his book
Other Criteria (boxes 11 and 12, the latter an audio tape). The abandoned dissertation,
Afterlife of Romanesque, reflects his interest in romanesque art and architecture under the influence of his professor, Richard Krautheimer (box
13); and the course notebooks contain his notes from his student days with such distinguished art historians as Erwin Panofsky,
Richard Krautheimer, Charles Sterling, Karl Lehmann, Alfred Salmony, Harry Bober and Wolfgang Lotz (boxes 14-28).
The papers are organized in 7 series:
Series I. Borromini research, 1953-1993 (bulk 1953-1960);
Series II. Rodin research, 1962-1977;
Series III. Titian research, 1965-1986;
Series IV. Correspondence and lectures, 1952-1995;
Series V. Publications: Manuscripts and Letters, 1962-1996;
Series VI. Abandoned dissertation, 1956;
Series VII. Course notes, 1950-1963
Subjects - Names
Borromini, Francesco, 1599-1667
Johns, Jasper, 1930-
Rodin, Auguste, 1840-1917
Titian, ca. 1488-1576
Subjects - Topics
Art critics--United States
Art historians--United States
Art--History--Study and teaching (Graduate)--United States
Subjects - Titles
Art journal (New York, N.Y.)
Arts (New York, N.Y.)
Genres and Forms of Material
Barr, Margaret Scolari, 1901-1987
Bober, Harry, 1915-
Canaday, John, 1907-1985
Chastel, André, 1912-1990
Cohen, Gerson D. (Gerson David), 1924-
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968
Goldwater, Robert John, 1907-1973
Held, Julius S , (Julius Samuel), 1905-2002
Janson, H. W. (Horst Woldemar), 1913-1982
Kitzinger, Ernst, 1912-
Krautheimer, Richard, 1897-1994
Lavin, Irving, 1927-
Lehmann , Karl, 1894-1960
Leider, Philip, 1929-
Lotz, Wolfgang, 1912-1981
Lowry, Bates, 1923-
Panofsky, Erwin, 1892-1968
Salmony, Alfred, 1890-1958
Sterling, Charles, 1901-1991
Weissberger, Herbert, 1892-