Reference Entry

Berenson, Bernard

Margaret Moore Booker

in Oxford Art Online

ISBN: 9780195335798
Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T008048
Berenson, Bernard

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(b Butrimonys, Alytus County, Lithuania, June 26, 1865; d Settignano, Italy, Oct 6, 1959).

American art historian, critic, and connoisseur. Berenson was perhaps the single most influential art historian in the USA for much of the 20th century. As the leading scholar and authority on Italian Renaissance art, his opinion greatly influenced American art museums and collectors, whom he guided in the purchase of many important works of art. His pupils and disciples became the curators of many of the world’s great museums. His dealings with art galleries also made him a highly controversial figure.

Born to Albert and Julia Valvrojenski in Lithuania, Berenson immigrated to Boston, MA, with his family in 1875, at which time his surname was changed to Berenson. Later called ‘BB’ by friends and family, he dropped the ‘h’ from his first name around 1915. Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885. He attended Boston Latin School, Boston University, and finally Harvard University, where he studied under Charles Eliot Norton and received a BA in ...

Reference Entry.  1317 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; History of Art ; Art of the United States ; 19th-Century Art ; 20th-Century Art

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