Coffin, David R(obbins) 1918-2003

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COFFIN, David R(obbins) 1918-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 20, 1918, in New York, NY; died of heart failure, October 14, 2003, in Princeton, NJ. Educator and author. Coffin was a renowned authority on Italian Renaissance architecture and garden design. Completing an A.B. from Princeton University in 1940, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II before returning to Princeton to complete an M.F.A. in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1954. Coffin's academic career began at the University of Michigan, where he taught for two years before finding a post at his alma mater as a lecturer in art and archaeology in 1949. He would remain at Princeton for the rest of his career, being appointed a full professor in 1960 and Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture in 1970; he also chaired the art and archaeology department from 1964 to 1970 and was heavily involved in plans for the renovation of the Marquand Library of Art and Architecture. Coffin retired as professor emeritus in 1988, occupying his time with writing, as well as a year as Kress Professor at the CASVA National Gallery of Art from 1995 to 1996. Highly respected for his knowledge of Renaissance architecture and gardens, he was the author of such books as The Villa d'Este at Tivoli (1961), The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome (1979), The English Garden: Meditation and Memorial (1994), and Princeton University's Graduate College (2000). His last book, a biography of Pirro Ligorio, was completed but not yet published at the time of his death.



Chronicle of Higher Education, December 19, 2003, p. A43.


Princeton University, (October 21, 2003).