Otto Brendel

Archaeologist, Author

1901 – 1973


Who was Otto Brendel?

Otto J. Brendel was an art historian and scholar of Etruscan art and archaeology.

In 1928 he received his Ph.D. from the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg under Ludwig Curtius on the topic of Roman iconography of the Augustinian period. While at Heidelberg, Brendel studied with the leading minds of his day: Franz Boll, Alfred von Domaszewski, Friedrich Karl von Duhn, Richard Carl Meister, and Eugen Täubler; the literary theorist Ernst Robert Curtius, Friedrich Gundolf, Karl Jaspers, the classical art historians Karl Lehmann and Friedrich Zimmer. He emigrated to the United States in 1938.

In the United States, he taught at various schools, including: Washington University in St. Louis; Indiana University. From 1949-51 Brendel was at the American Academy in Rome first under a Prix de Rome and then with a Fulbright Fellowship. In 1956 he became Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and became emeritus in 1963, continuing to teach until his retirement in June 1973. He died that September. At the time of his death he had completed the manuscript for the Pelican History of Art volume on Etruscan Art and it was published in 1978. His influential work Prolegomena to the Study of Roman Art represents an important scholarly approach to the historiography of Roman art.

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Oct 10, 1901
  • Germany
  • Washington University in St. Louis
Oct 8, 1973
New York City

on July 23, 2013


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