Mauner, George L. 1931-2004

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Mauner, George L. 1931-2004


Born June 2, 1931, in Trieste, Italy; died from complications of chemotherapy, June 7, 2004, in State College, PA; married; wife's name Manya; children: Claudia. Education: Columbia College, A.B.; Columbia University, M.A. and Ph.D.


Pennsylvania State University, University Park, professor of art, 1962-95, distinguished professor emeritus, 1995-2004, director, Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies, 1990-96. Exhibitions: Curator of exhibitions and author of accompanying catalogues, including Three Swiss Painters: Cuno Amiet, Giobanni Giocometti, Augusto Giacometti, Williams-Munson-Procter Museum and Guggenheim Museum; Cuno Amiet und die Maler der Drücke, Zurich, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany; and Edouard Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, American Federation of Arts Exhibitions.


Officier, l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2002; honored by French government, 2004, for contributions to education.


Manet, Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter's Themes, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1975.

The Nabis: Their History and Their Art, 1888-1896, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1978.

(Editor) Paris, Center of Artistic Enlightenment, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 1988.

Cuno Amiet: Hoffnung und Vergänglichkeit, Aargauer Kunsthaus (Aarau), 1991.

(Author of commentary, with others) Cuno Amiet, Cuno Amiet: Von Pont-Aven zur Brücke: Beiträge von George Mauner und Geneviève Sandoz-Keller, Skira (Milan, Italy), 1999.

Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2000.

Contributor to periodicals, including ARTNews.


George L. Mauner was a professor of art history and a noted expert on late nineteenthcentury French and Swiss painting, as well as the author of two works about the celebrated artist Edouard Manet titled Manet, Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter's Themes and Manet: The Still-Life Paintings. In the former work, Mauner contends that "Manet's art as a whole is symbolic and contains the expression of a hidden philosophical position," wrote Art Bulletin contributor Beatrice Farwell. Though Library Journal reviewer Robin Kaplan observed that Manet, Peintre-Philosophe "represents a positive contribution to the ever-growing body of Manet literature," other critics faulted Mauner's methodology. In Art Journal, Gabriel P. Weisberg stated, "Manet's images are complex and may indeed contain several layers of meanings. It is unfortunate that Mauner's intuitive responses could not have been tempered to evolve a more cautious presentation of meanings."

Based on a landmark exhibition held at the Musée D'Orsay in Paris and the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Manet: The Still-Life Paintings "reveals the breath and scope of Manet's still lifes, both visually and theoretically," observed Library Journal critic Ellen Bates. "Mauner covers a range of subject matter—fruit and other foods, marine life, and flowers—and discusses Manet's use of symbolism," noted a critic in American Artist. The volume contains full-color plates of the artist's works, accompanied by brief texts "in which Mauner addresses specific elements within the works and draws comparisons between them," the American Artist contributor stated. According to a critic in Contemporary Review, "This informative and well researched study is … executed with a lightness of touch which both pleases and instructs." Mauner died in 2004.



American Artist, April, 2001, review of Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, p. 80.

Art Bulletin, June, 1978, Beatrice Farwell, review of Manet, Peintre-Philosophe: A Study of the Painter's Themes, p. 379.

Art Journal, March, 1979, Gabriel P. Weisberg, review of Manet, Peintre-Philosophe, p. 212.

Books & Bookmen, April, 1979, Douglas Cooper, "Masters, Maniacs & Magna-Opera," pp. 27-31.

Choice, February, 1976, review of Manet, Peintre-Philosophe, p. 1562; May, 2001, E.E. Hirshler, review of Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, p. 1616.

Contemporary Review, January, 2002, review of Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, p. 59.

Library Journal, December 15, 1975, Robin Kaplan, review of Manet, Peintre-Philosophe, p. 2316; May 1, 2001, Ellen Bates, review of Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, p. 80.

New York Times Book Review, June 10, 2001, Hilarie M. Sheets, "And Still Living," p. 32.

Publishers Weekly, February 19, 2001, review of Manet: The Still-Life Paintings, p. 85.

Times Literary Supplement, June 24, 1977, Ronald Pickvance, "A Model of Modernism," p. 761.



Penn State College of Arts and Architecture News, (January 12, 2007), "Art History Mourns Distinguished Scholar."