Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Vienna, Austria Hungary, into a wealthy Jewish family that had converted to a form of mystical Protestantism by the turn of the 20th Century. He rejected religion, though he felt a strong Jewish identity, reinforced by Austria's adoption of Nazism, and always described himself as an Austrian Jew. He was educated at Theresianum secondary school in Vienna and at Vienna University before coming to Britain in 1936 where he took up a post as a research assistant at the Warburg Institute.
During World War II he worked as a correspondent at the BBC. He returned to London University (1956–59), then to the Warburg Institute (1959–76) where he occupied various senior research posts, before eventually becoming its director. He was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1960, made CBE in 1966, knighted in 1972, and appointed a member of the Order of Merit in 1988.
The Story of Art, first published in 1950 (currently in its 16th edition) is widely regarded as a seminal work of criticism and one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts. Originally intended for younger readers, it has sold millions of copies and been translated into more than 20 languages. Other major publications include Art and Illusion (1960), regarded by critics to be his most influential and far-reaching works, and the papers gathered in Meditations on a Hobby Horse (1963), The Sense of Order (1979), and The Image and the Eye (1981).
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