Leo Steinberg (1920-2011)

On Sunday afternoon, 13 March 2011, the eminent art historian Leo Steinberg died, in his own long-time home on West 66th Street in New York, at the age of 90. I have called Leo Steinberg a good friend since we met for the first time at the National Gallery in London in 1966. When Loekie and I were married in New York in April 1968, Leo took us and our wedding guests to lunch at Ratner’s on Second Avenue. We have always thought of him as the godfather of our marriage, now in its 42nd year.

In 1994, Leo Steinberg came to the Netherlands to deliver a public lecture at Utrecht University. This is the text of the talk by which I introduced him to the audience.

Open pdf (282 kB) at Leo Steinberg Utrecht 1994

4 thoughts on “Leo Steinberg (1920-2011)”

  1. Thank you, Gary, for posting this ‘in memoriam.’
    Note: Leo introduced me to Gary and Loekie when I was a Fulbright Scholar in Amsterdam in 1975-76—one of the many things for which I’m grateful to L.S.

  2. Bedankt voor de mooie introductie van destijds, Leo had niet beter ingeleid kunnen worden. Ik had de eer om hem voor de lezing uit te nodigen en heb samen met een andere student een weekje met Leo en Renate Puhfogel door ons land gereisd. Afgelopen kerst heb ik Leo nog geschreven, daar ben ik nu blij om.
    Ik herinner me zijn grapjes nog, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself….”

    Hartelijke groeten

  3. Dear Gary,
    This beautiful tribute is even more meaningful now.
    A short memoir: In the fall of 1957, Leo was a member of a seminar on “The Iconography of Architecture” given by Richard Krautheimer at the Institute of Fine Arts. The seminar members included an amazing array of students: Leo, Alfred Knox Frazer, Richard Pommer, Wayne Dynes, Svetlana Leontief (as she was then), Stephen Scher, several impressive auditors….and me, a first-semester student, eager but—well, 20 years old. Leo presented the first form of his dissertation as his seminar report. Complicated as the ideas were, he expressed them with exceptional lucidity. His (intimidating) report was the best thing that a first-semester student could have heard, because it showed what art history could be in the hands of its most thoughtful practitioners. I remained a distant admirer of his, grateful to him for instruction beyond what Krautheimer himself offered.

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