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An Émigré Art Historian and America: H. W. Janson

23 October 2013

Art Bulletin, June 2013, Vol. 95, Number 2, 219-242

Elizabeth Sears and Charlotte Schoell-Glass

Horst Woldemar Janson, among the most influential of the German art historians who immigrated to the United States in the Nazi era, left Germany in 1935 at age twenty-one. He thus completed his doctorate not at Hamburg, where he had been Erwin Panofsky’s student, but at Harvard. Fascinated by American culture, as attested by an unpublished essay of 1935—here translated—comparing America and Europe, Janson adapted quickly to his new academic environment. As scholar, critic, and editor, he applied his formidable energy and organizational skills to initiatives extending well beyond writing the classic survey History of Art.

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