Henry Kraus was an independent scholar who studied the iconography of medieval art and the economics of cathedral building.
He began his career as a labor historian and a freelance journalist. Although he had no formal training, he had a lifelong interest in medieval art, which he shared with his wife, Dorothy. In 1976, the Krauses’ pathbreaking investigation of medieval church stalls in Western Europe resulted in the restoration and preservation of these neglected artworks. His study of medieval cathedrals led him to examine the sociohistorical influence on their construction, an impact that he likewise studied in the iconography of the art of the period.
Kraus’s works as a labor historian include The Many and the Few: A Chronicle of the Dynamic Auto Workers (1947) and Heroes of Unwritten Story: The UAW, 1934-39 (1993). His works in art history are: The Living Theatre of Medieval Art (1967), Gold Was the Mortar: The Economics of Cathedral Building (1979), and three works co-authored with Dorothy Kraus, The Hidden World of Misericords (1975), The Gothic Choirstalls of Spain (1986), and Misericords Unveiled: Hidden Carvings in Sacred Places (1997).
Kraus received an A.B. (1926) and an A.M. (1927) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.