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Boime, Albert 1933-2008 (Albert Isaac Boime)

Boime, Albert 1933-2008 (Albert Isaac Boime)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 17, 1933, in St. Louis, MO; died of myelofibrosis, October 18, 2008, in Los Angeles, CA. Art historian, educator, and author. Boime's approach to art history and analysis set him apart from his colleagues and from many art critics as well. Boime was fascinated by the relationship of artworks to the times in which they were created—by what these works reveal about the politics, society, culture, and history of their day. He was also intrigued by the relationship of art "movements" such as impressionism to their predecessors and successors. Without neglecting style, technique, and the lives of individual artists, Boime devoted much of his career and many of his writings to what he called the "social history" related to art. It was a difficult, research-intensive pursuit. He analyzed French impressionism as a reaction against the realism of the nineteenth-century "French Academy." He placed the art of the French Revolution into the context of the tumultuous events that inspired its painters. Boime explored the impact of traditional artist-teachers (like Thomas Couture) upon the students who broke with tradition and achieved renown in new movements of their own design (like Couture's student, impressionist Edouard Manet). He believed that the art of any historical or cultural period is defined by the aggregate influence of all its artists, great and small. Boime spent a decade teaching at universities of the State University of New York system. In 1978 he moved to the University of California in Los Angeles, where he spent the rest of his career. He wrote at least twenty books during that career, including the four-volume work, A Social History of Modern Art, 1750-1914 (1987-2007), The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century (1990), Art and the French Commune: Imagining Paris after War and Revolution (1995), The Unveiling of the National Icons: A Plea for Patriotic Iconoclasm in a Nationalist Era (1998), and The Revelation of Modernism: Responses to Cultural Crises in Fin-de-Siècle Painting (2008).



Los Angeles Times, October 23, 2008, p. B6.

New York Times, November 2, 2008, p. A26.

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