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Gisela Richter
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Gisela Richter

Gisela Marie Augusta Richter (August 14, 1882 - December 24, 1972), was a classical archaeologist and art historian.

Gisela Richter was born in London, England; the daughter of Jean Paul and Louise (Schwaab) Richter. Both of her parents and her sister, Irma, were historians of Italian Renaissance art. She was educated at Maida Vale School, one of the finest schools for women at the time. She decided to become a classical archaeologist while attending Emmanuel Loewy's lectures at the University of Rome around 1896. In 1901 she attended Girton College at the University of Cambridge, and the British School of Archaeology, Athens, Greece.

She joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as an assistant in 1906, becoming assistant curator in 1910, associate curator in 1922, and curator of Greek and Roman art in 1925, a position she held until 1948, when she became honorary curator until her death in 1972. As curator she was one of the most influential people in classical art history at the time.

She lectured at Columbia University, Yale University, Bryn Mawr College, and Oberlin College. As author of numerous popular books on classical art, she was enormously influential on the general public's understanding and appreciation of the subject.

Writing 30 years after Richter's death, Camille Paglia paid tribute to her "for her clarity and rigor of mind; her fineness of sensibility and connoisseurship; her attention to detail and her power of observation and deduction; her mastery of form and design."

Books by Gisela Richter

Sources Obituaries