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George Levitine Book collection
The Dr. George Levitine Collection consists of more than 2,000 volumes belonging to the late Dr. Levitine, a distinguished scholar of art history and founding chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Maryland. This collection is the generous gift of Eda Levitine, Dr. Levitine's wife. While the Art Library is the primary beneficiary of this gift, the Rare Books department received several hundred works dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
1564-1911 and undated
Majority of material found within 1700-1807
Use and Access to Collection
This collection is open for research.
Duplication and Copyright Information
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Dr. George Levitine Collection consists of more than 2,000 volumes belonging to the late Dr. Levitine, a distinguished scholar of art history and founding chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Maryland. While the Art Library is the primary beneficiary of this gift, the Rare Books department received several hundred works dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. These materials can be found by searching by title, author, or the phrase "George Levitine Collection" in the UMD Libraries' online catalog.
Emblematic devices and their significance were a major area of research for Dr. Levitine, and his collection of early works on iconography became the centerpiece in his impressive library. The Levitine Collection is also rich in titles, mostly from France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, concerning art, artists, cultural analysis, and the discussion of matters of taste and esthetics. These books are a valuable addition to the University of Maryland Libraries' already strong holdings in French art, history, literature, drama, and music.
George Levitine (1916-1989), Professor Emeritus and former Head of the Art Department at the University of Maryland, Chevalier de l'ordre des arts et des lettres, member of the Institute for Advanced Study (1977-78), was a scholar, teacher, and humanist.
He was born in Kharkow, Ukraine, in 1916. Due to the Russian Revolution, in 1924 his family immigrated to France. He received a Baccalauréat degree from the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris in 1936 and a P.C.B. (pre-med) at the Université de Paris in 1938. After completing his first year at the Ecole de Médecine, his studies were interrupted by World War II.
After serving in the French army and the American army (OSS), he resumed his studies in the United States. He received a M.A. in Art History from Boston University in 1946 and a Ph.D. in Art History from Harvard University in 1952. Dr. Levitine taught at Boston University from 1948 to 1964 and also served on the faculty of the Harvard Extension Program from 1957 to 1964.
In 1964, Dr. Levitine joined the University of Maryland as a full professor and Head of the Art Department, a department of three or four which grew to thirty seven faculty members during his tenure. Under Dr. Levitine's leadership, the University of Maryland's art history and art programs gained national recognition.
Retiring as Head of the department in 1978 to devote time to research and teaching, he taught until being named Professor Emeritus and Director of Academic Program Development with European Academic Institutions by the university in 1986.
Dr. Levitine's publications include numerous articles on Goya, emblems, and French art from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. He gained a reputation as an authority on eighteenth-century French art. In 1987 he organized and edited the papers of a monumental symposium "Culture and Revolution: Cultural Ramifications of the French Revolution."
Emblematic devices and their significance were a major area of research for Dr. Levitine, and in 1987 the University sponsored a symposium, chaired by Marie Spiro and Doug Farquhar and entitled "The Protean Life of Emblems after the Sixteenth Century," in his honor. Papers from this symposium appeared in an issue of Emblematica dedicated to him.
At the time of his death in 1989, the University of Maryland established the George Levitine Art History Endowment to support research and study by faculty and students. The keynote speech at the annual Middle Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art has also been named in his honor.
Note: This biographical note was taken from the Art and Architecture Library website
Organized as two series:
- Series 1
- George Levitine Book collection
- Series 2
- George Levitine Book Collection - transferred from Art Library
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
George Levitine's wife, Eda Levitine, donated this collection to the University of Maryland Libraries in 2002.
Guide to the George Levitine Book collection
Processed by Laura Cleary and Melissa Lohry.
- Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives