Irving Lavin (1927–2019)

Irving Lavin, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, one of America’s most distinguished art historians, passed away in Princeton on February 3 at the age of 91. Lavin wrote extensively on the history of art from late antiquity to modern times. Recognized for his meticulous approach, Irving contributed illuminating insights on the correlation between form and meaning in the visual arts that will impact the field for generations to come.

Lavin joined the Institute’s School of Historical Studies as a Professor in 1973 and remained an exceptionally active and inquiring member of the Institute community after becoming Professor Emeritus in 2001. He and his wife, Professor Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, co-authored Truth and Beauty at the Institute for Advanced Study (2012), which explores the origin and inspiration of the Institute seal, designed in 1931 by French artist Pierre Turin. Lavin writes in the introduction, “It is our joint hope that, to some extent, this perhaps excessively academic study expresses the gratitude we both feel for the precious gifts we have received over the years from this wondrous place.”

The Institute extends its heartfelt condolences and warmest support to Marilyn and family. Irving will be deeply missed at the Institute and by colleagues and friends around the world.

An official obituary will be shared on the IAS website in the coming days.


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