Jean Adhémar

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Jean Adhémar (18 March 1908, in Paris – 30 June 1987) was a French librarian, academic and art historian.

He has been Curator of the "Cabinet des estampes" of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France from 1932 to 1961 and head of the department from 1961 until 1972. We owe him numerous exhibitions as well as the introduction of the Photography at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Internationally renown Scientific, he graduated from l'Ecole des Chartes and hold a Doctorate ès Lettre of La Sorbonne. He was professor at École du Louvre and at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Jean Adhémar had an innovative approach of the visual art: as a young scholar he has been an affiliate of the Warburg Institute in London, he contributed to introduced in France the ideas and methods of Erwin Panofsky, Meyer Schapiro or Edgar Wind, by broadening its analysis and research to wider field of human mentality history. He published as author of numerous articles, books, and catalogues; he was considered as one of the world's experts on prints, with a predilection for the XIXth century.

He has been editor of the Gazette des beaux-arts until his death and founder of the Nouvelles de l'Estampe (1963).


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