Art historian, dedicated to the historical study of art.
Author of books on Rembrandt, Pieter Saenredam, Johannes Vermeer and Jheronimus Bosch; exhibition catalogues on the Dutch world of painting and emotions in Dutch art; and more than 500 articles and columns in journals, the press and Internet, mainly on Dutch and Flemish art, connoisseurship and museum matters.
Having chosen not to pursue an academic career, Schwartz worked in other capacities in the field of art history. As an editor, translator and publisher; researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD); lecturer with occasional university appointments; journalist and columnist; exhibition curator; consultant for collectors and art dealers; founder, director and webmaster of CODART, an international council for museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art; blogger since 1995.
Gary Schwartz was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940 and educated at Jewish day schools in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. In 1956 he matriculated on an early admissions program at Washington Square College of Arts and Sciences, New York University, after a summer course in writing given by the wonderful Frances Keene.
At NYU (1956-1961) he was taught, inspired and enlisted into the ranks of professional art history by H.W. Janson. Courses with visiting professors Lotte Brand Philip and Wolfgang Lotz provided an extra stimulus to enter the field. A final spurt of Jewish education at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1958-1959), with fading impressions left by Gershom Scholem, Zvi Werblowski, Nechama Leibowitz, Rivka Schatz and Adi Tsemach and a lasting friendship with Shaul and Miriam Shaked.
Brought by Prof. Kenan Erim to the NYU dig at Aphrodisias for the first and third seasons (1961, 1963), an intense and for a variety of reasons unforgettable experience.
Graduate work in art history at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1961-1965), under Adolf Katzenellenbogen, after whose death in 1964 Schwartz was left without a committed supervisor for the Ph.D. He completed course work and exams for the degree (although he still owes Philippe Verdier a paper on Byzantine silver), but never wrote a dissertation.
Schwartz spent the summer of 1964 in Rome as a copy editor for the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Art. On his way home he stopped off in the Netherlands for a few days and fell in love with the country. Enchantment with the Netherlands filled a gap left by disenchantment with America in years when the country, as so often, was at war with itself. Changing the subject of his intended dissertation from medieval equestrian monuments to globes in Dutch still life paintings (neither of which came further than planning stages), he was awarded a Kress Fellowship to the Netherlands for 1965-1966. In the Netherlands he found the new home he was looking for, and a partner in love and life, Loekie Hendriks. They are the parents of Ditke and Baruch Schwartz and the grandparents of Lola and Abel, the children of Baruch and Sacha van den Borg.
For information on Schwartz as a publisher and art historian, see the entry on him in the Dictionary of Art Historians.