Meyer Schapiro was the dean of American art historians.
The volumes of his selected papers, including Romanesque Art (1977), Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1978), for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award (1978) and the Mitchell Prize for Art History (1979), and Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art (1979), and Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society (1994) are seminal works of art history. He was also the author of Mondrian: On the Humanity of Abstract Painting (1995), Words, Script, and Pictures: Semiotics of Visual Language (1996), and Impressionism: Reflections and Perceptions (1997). An artist himself, Schapiro was the subject of “Works of Art 1919-1979,” a retrospective exhibit of his paintings, prints, and drawings mounted at Columbia University.
Schapiro was a professor of art history at Columbia University. He was named a Commander de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1976) by the French government, a recipient of the Warburg Prize (1985), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters.
Schapiro received a B.A. (1924) and a Ph.D. (1929) from Columbia University.
Last updated January 1, 2005.