Meyer Schapiro, Art Teacher, Historian and Leftist Writer

From Associated Press

Meyer Schapiro, art historian, teacher, critic, scholar and radical for more than six decades, has died. He was 91.

Schapiro, who spent most of his teaching career at Columbia University, died Sunday at his Manhattan home.

It was as an art educator and historian of Romanesque sculpture that he made his name in 1931; he also wrote on 19th century and early 20th century art.

Schapiro's Greenwich Village home was a gathering place in the 1930s for members of the radical left and he wrote for the Marxist Quarterly, the New Masses, the Nation and the Partisan Review.

Descended from Talmudic scholars in Lithuania, Schapiro immigrated with his family to Brooklyn when he was 3. He studied art under John Sloan and painted and drew for much of his life.

Artists flocked to his lectures at Columbia, New York University and the New School for Social Research during the development of the New York school of painting.

For years, he was reluctant to have his lectures published. In 1977, George Braziller began publishing a four-volume series of Schapiro's selected essays and lectures. "Romanesque Art" appeared in 1977, "Modern Art: 19th and 20th Centuries" in 1978, "Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art" in 1979, and "Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artists and Society" in 1994.

Schapiro is survived by his wife, Lillian Milgrim, a daughter and a son.

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