George Kubler

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George Alexander Kubler (26 July 1912 - 3 October 1996) was an American art historian and among the foremost scholars on the art of Pre-Columbian America and Ibero-American Art.[1][2]

Kubler was born in Hollywood, California, but most of his early education was in Europe. He attended high school at Western Reserve Academy, a private, coeducational boarding school in Hudson, Ohio. He then went to Yale University, where he obtained an A.B. (1934), A.M. (1936) and Ph.D. degree (1940), the latter two under guidance of Henri Focillon. From 1938 onwards, Kubler was a member of the Yale Faculty and was the first Robert Lehman Professor (1964-1975), Sterling Professor of the History of Art (1975-1983) and after his retirement, a senior resident scholar. He received several awards, including three Guggenheim Fellowships, an American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid for research in Mexico and the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican Government. He also was honored with several visiting lectureships and honorary degrees and was appointed the 1985-86 Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Studies at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He was awarded the William Clyde DeVane Medal in 1991.[3]

Kubler's major theoretical work, The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things[4] was a major influence on Esther Pasztory, Robert Smithson, Donald Judd, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Morris, among others.[5]

He also had a big importance in the definition of "portuguese plain architecture", naming this architectural period in light of his direct knowledge about a set of buildings with almost no ornaments, and therefore, plain, simple, that dated from the 16th century.


  1. ^ Willey, G.R. (1998) George Alexander Kubler (26 July 1912-3 October 1996). Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 142, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 672-675 [1], retrieved on May 6, 2007)
  2. ^ "George Kubler" In Dictionary of Art Historians. Retrieved May 6, 2000, Web site:
  3. ^ "George A. Kubler" - Obituary. In Yale Bulletin & Calendar. Retrieved May 6, 2000, Web site:
  4. ^ Giulio Angioni, Miseria e nobiltà della tecnica, in Fare, dire, sentire: l'identico e il diverso nelle culture, Il Maestrale 2011, pp. 71-76
  5. ^ Wood, P. (2006). Reality Check. In Oxford Art Journal, 29(2), pp. 291-296.

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