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Cathleen Hoeniger on The art history and methodology of Millard Meiss

25 February 2021

The art history and methodology of Millard Meiss and the question of his lukewarm reception in Italy


Review of:

Jennifer Cooke, Millard Meiss, American Art History, and Conservation: From Connoisseurship to Iconology and Kulturgeschichte, New York and London: Routledge, 2021, 219 pp., 11 b. & w. illus., ISBN 978-0-367-13834-9

Cathleen Hoeniger (Queens University, Canada) 24/CH1

Abstract: This book review focuses on Jennifer Cooke’s careful and incisive analysis of the different methodological approaches adopted by Millard Meiss in his art-historical writing. Her extensive research in Meiss’s personal letters allows for an intimate portrait of his scholarly interactions, including over thirty years of correspondence with Erwin Panofsky. The originality and importance of Cooke’s perspective on the reception of Meiss’s work in Italy is acknowledged, but it is also suggested that a fully balanced appraisal would have to include the profound influence Meiss had in North America.

Key Words: Millard Meiss, Erwin Panofsky, Bernard Berenson, Trecento, connoisseurship, iconography, technical art history, Leonetto Tintori, Roberto Longhi, Black Death, Francesco Traini, Giotto, Duccio, Hayden Maginnis, Jennifer Cooke

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