Peter H Brieger

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Peter H Brieger
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Born(1898-06-30)June 30, 1898
Breslau (Wroclaw), Germany
DiedOctober 17, 1983(1983-10-17) (aged 85)
Toronto, Canada
NationalityGerman
CitizenshipGermany
OccupationProfessor of Art History
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Breslau
Thesis (1924, 1927)
Academic work
DisciplineArt History
Institutions
  • University of Breslau, Germany
  • University of Toronto, Canada

Peter H Brieger (30 June 1898, Breslau - 17 October 1983, Toronto) was a German art historian who emigrated to Canada in 1936 to escape persecution from the Nazi regime because of his Jewish family background. He taught at the University of Toronto from 1936 to 1969, was Head of the Department of Fine Art from 1947 to 1964, and Chair from 1965 to 1969. He was a medievalist, specialising in 12th and 13th century manuscripts.[1]

Early life and education

Peter Brieger's father, Professor Dr Oskar Brieger, was an ENT specialist in Breslau (then in Prussia, now Wroclaw in Poland). He grew up as one of four children in a wealthy, cultured atmosphere surrounded by many books, and studied foreign languages with a tutor. His mother was Hedwig Lion. Some of the furniture in his home was designed by the German architect, painter and set designer, Hans Poelzig. The family had a holiday home in the Riesengebirge, or Giant Mountains (now in the Czech Republic), where Oskar had a small theatre built for the family's own plays to be performed. As a child, Brieger attended the Maria-Magdalene High School in Breslau. After graduating from the school in 1916, he did military service in the First World War until 1918, and was wounded in Flanders.[2]

From 1919 to 1924 Brieger studied art history, history, German literature and archaeology at the universities of Breslau and Munich. His professors were the art historians Dagobert Frey, Franz Landsberger, Wilhelm Pinder, Heinrich Wölfflin and August Grisebach (1881–1950), under whose supervision he received his doctorate in Breslau in 1924: 'Zur Geschichte des Kunsturteils' ('On the history of art judgement', focusing on the travel diaries of Germans in Italy from 1550 to the period of Winckelmann and Goethe).[3] In 1921 Brieger qualified to teach at secondary schools, and from 1922 to 1927 he worked as a university assistant in the Art History Department of the University of Wroclaw. In 1927 and 1928 he received a research grant for the Bibliotheca Hertziana (now the Max Planck Institute for Art History) in Rome. His post-doctoral (habilitation) thesis (1927), which qualified him for a professorship, was published in 1930 in Berlin under the title Die deutsche Geschichtsmalerei des 19 Jahrhunderts (German History Painting of the 19th Century).[4]

Peter Brieger married Barbara Ritter (1908-2000), a German historian, in 1931. The couple had two sons, Peter and Nick, who grew up in Canada.[5]

Professional life

From 1927 to 1933 Peter Brieger worked as a private lecturer at the University of Breslau; he was also assistant to his former supervisor Grisebach until 1930, and then to Frey until 1933. Grisebach thought highly of him, writing in a report in 1933 that “thanks to his solid scientific background [he] exercised an unusually fruitful teaching activity”, as well as noting his "responsible way of working" and "extraordinary pedagogical disposition". After spending a few months in Paris in 1933, he went on to London, where he worked in 1934 on a series of maps for archaeologists and art historians at the Courtauld Institute of Art, entitled the Atlas of Medieval Art and Architecture in England. He gave lectures at the Courtauld as one of several temporary faculty members, and contributed photographs to the Courtauld's Conway Library archive, which is currently undergoing a digitisation project.[6] It was this time he spent in London which resulted in a change of focus towards English medieval art and architecture, which was to continue for his lifetime.[7]

Brieger was dismissed from his teaching position in Breslau in 1934 because of his Jewish origins, and in 1935 his professorship qualification was revoked. He emigrated to England in 1936, and went on to Canada in the same year. From 1936 to 1969, Peter Brieger was a member of the newly established Department of Art at the University of Toronto, where he taught from 1936 to 1947 as a lecturer and associate professor. During the Second World War he contributed to the Allied war effort by helping to decipher German messages. From 1947 to 1969 Brieger was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Art at the University of Toronto.

Publications

Early articles (in German)

[Review?], 'Die Fürstengruft von Grüssau' ['The Royal Crypt of Grüssau'], Grüssauer Bildhauer [Grüssau Sculptor] Anton Dorasil,[8] von [by] Nikolaus von Lutterotti, 1925.[9]

Review, F Klopfer: 'Von der Seele der Baukunst: Wege zur Bildung' ['From the Soul of Architecture: Pathways to Education'], Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft [Journal of Aesthetics and General Art History], 22, pp.367-368, Dessau, 1928.[10]

Review, Ernst Mössel, 'Die Proportion in Antike und Mittelalter' ['Proportion in Antiquity and the Middle Ages'], München, 1926, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft [Journal of Aesthetics and General Art History], 22, pp.519-520, 1928.[11]

Books

Die deutsche Geschichtsmalerei des 19 Jahrhunderts.[4]

England's contribution to the origin and development of the triumphal cross, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1942.[12]

Loan exhibition: 17th-18th century French masters, University of Western Ontario, McIntosh Art Gallery, 1953.[13]

Books with co-authors

Peter H Brieger, G Stephen Vickers and Frederick E Winter, Art and Man, Book 1: Ancient and Medieval, Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.[14]

Peter H Brieger, G Stephen Vickers and Frederick E Winter, Art and Man, Book 2: Renaissance and Baroque, Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.[15]

Peter H Brieger, G Stephen Vickers and Frederick E Winter, Art and Man, Book 3: the Modern World, Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964.[16]

Peter Brieger and Marthe Dulong, The Trinity College Apocalypse, London: Eugrammia Press,1967.[17]

Cited in

Matthew M Reeve, Thirteenth-century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy, and Reform, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2008.[18]

John Munns, Cross and Culture in Anglo-Norman England: Theology, Imagery, Devotion, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016.[19]

References

  1. "Brieger, Peter H. - Senior College Encyclopedia". sce.library.utoronto.ca. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  2. Brieger, Peter (2016). "University of Toronto Archives" (PDF). University of Toronto Archives.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Brieger, Peter (1926). "Zur Geschichte des Kunsturteils. (Nach Reiseberichten Deutscher in Italien in d. Zeitraum v. 1550 bis Winckelmann u. Goethe.) [Maschinenschrift.] 54 S. 4°" (in German). Auszug: Breslau : Hochschulverlag.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Brieger, Peter (1930). Die deutsche Geschichtsmalerei des 19. Jahrhunderts (in German). Berlin. OCLC 471715833.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  5. Brieger, Barbara (2000). "Obituary, The Globe and Mail, Toronto".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Who made the Conway Library?". Digital Media. 2020-06-30. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  7. Brieger, Peter. "Dictionary of Art Historians". Dictionary of Art Historians.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Lutterotti, Nikolaus von (1925). Der Grüssauer Bildhauer Anton Dorasil (in German). Erscheinungsort nicht ermittelbar. OCLC 886622449.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  9. Brieger, Peter H (1925). "Die Fürstengruft von Grüssau". Grüssauer Bildhauer Anton Dorasil / von Nikolaus von Lutterotti. (in German). OCLC 887219775.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  10. Brieger, Peter (1928). "Rezension von:] Klopfer, F.: Von der Seele der Baukunst: Wege zur Bildung. - Dessau". Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. (in German): 367–368. ISSN 0044-2186. OCLC 888599309.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  11. Brieger, Peter (1928). "Rezension von:] Mössel, Ernst: Die Proportion in Antike und Mittelalter. - München, 1926". Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft. (in German): 519–520. ISSN 0044-2186. OCLC 888599209.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  12. Brieger, Peter H (1942). England's contribution to the origin and development of the triumphal cross. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. OCLC 491659929.
  13. Brieger, Peter H; McIntosh Art Gallery (1953). Loan exhibition: 17th-18th century French masters. London: University of Western Ontario, McIntosh Art Gallery. OCLC 231846999.
  14. Brieger, Peter H; Vickers, G. Stephen; Winter, Frederick E (1964). Art and man: book one ... Toronto: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. OCLC 222860270.
  15. Brieger, Peter H; Vickers, G. Stephen; Winter, Frederick E (1964). Art and man: book two ... Toronto: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. OCLC 222860286.
  16. Brieger, Peter H; Vickers, G. Stephen; Winter, Frederick E (1964). Art and man: book three ... Toronto: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. OCLC 222860289.
  17. Brieger, Peter; Dulong, Marthe; Trinity College (University of Cambridge); Library (1967). The Trinity College Apocalypse. London: Eugrammia Press. OCLC 38715932.
  18. Reeve, Matthew M (2008). Thirteenth-Century wall painting of Salisbury Cathedral: art, liturgy, and reform. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-331-4. OCLC 163617778.
  19. Munns, John (2016). Cross and culture in Anglo-Norman England: theology, imagery, devotion. ISBN 978-1-78327-126-9. OCLC 959639729.

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