Oral Histories

Interview of Kurt A. Weitzmann

Princeton University professor of art and archaeology with a focus on Byzantine and medieval art.
Art Historian
Art History - Oral Documentation Project
Biographical Note:
Princeton University professor of art and archaeology with a focus on Byzantine and medieval art.
Smith, Richard Candida and De Noriega, Taina Rikala
Weitzmann, Kurt A.
Persons Present:
Tapes I, II, and V: Weitzmann, and Rikala; Tapes III and IV: Weitzmann, Josepha Weitzmann-Fiedler, and Rikala; Tape VI: Weitzmann and Smith.
Place Conducted:
Weitzmann's office at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview is located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Taina Rikala de Noriega; B.A., Art History and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz; M.Sc., Architecture, University College, London; Ph.D., Urban Planning, UCLA. The interview was conducted by Richard Cándida Smith, Associate Director/Principal Editor, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Theater Arts, UCLA; M.A., Ph.D., United States History, UCLA.
Processing of Interview:
Alex Cline, editor, edited the interview. He checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Weitzmann reviewed the transcript of Tapes I to III before he died in 1993. He verified proper names and made a number of corrections and additions. His wife, Josepha Weitzmann-Fiedler, reviewed the remainder of the transcript and answered additional queries. Teresa Barnett, senior editor, prepared the table of contents, biographical summary, and interview history. The index was compiled by Kristian London, editorial assistant.
7.7 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
The interviews in the series Art History - Oral Documentation Project are part of a cooperative venture between the Oral History Program and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, documents a generation of scholars who developed and elaborated paradigms of art history established in the late nineteenth century to forge a twentieth-century discipline.
Attends universities in Münster, Würzburg, Berlin, and Vienna; Karl Maria Swoboda; Adolph Goldschmidt; relationship of the Octateuchs and the Dura Europos frescoes; Charles Rufus Morey; the status of women in German universities; brought to Princeton University by Morey; Princeton's art history faculty; scholars at the Institute for Advanced Study; Illustrations in Roll and Codex: A Study of the Origin and Method of Text Illustration; Albert M. Friend; Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection; the status of women at Princeton; the German influence on American art history; Ernst Herzfeld; studying illustrated manuscripts and icons at the monastery at Mount Sinai; Weitzmann's graduate students at Princeton and elsewhere; contacts with universities, museums, and libraries in the United States and Europe; organizes The Age of Spirituality for the Metropolitan Museum of Art; methodological approaches to manuscript illustrations; separating iconography from style; teaching approaches; Christian iconography; Erwin Panofsky; relationship of Byzantine and Western art; Otto Demus; relationship of Jewish and early Christian art; politics and scholarship in 1920s Germany.