American art historian and administrator. He was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and studied there at the University of Manitoba, and subsequently at Northwestern and Princeton Universities. From 1947 to 1960 he was professor of art history at the University of Minnesota, from 1951 concurrently holding the post of director of the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis. He is best known by a wider public for his major publication A History of Modern Art. First published in 1969, this appeared in a second edition in 1977. Since Arnason's death a number of further editions have appeared, revised and updated by other hands, the most recent (the 5th) in 2004. Covering the mid-19th century to the present day and including over 1000 illustrations, it is the most comprehensive account in English in a single volume.