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Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner) Biography

(1902–83), (Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner), Leipziger Barock, Pioneers of the Modern Movement, Academies of Art

art history architecture architectural

British historian of art and architecture, born in Leipzig, educated at the universities of Leipzig, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich. His first book, Leipziger Barock (1928), dealt with the baroque houses of his native city. Of Jewish descent, he was forced by Nazi regulations to resign his lectureship at the University of Göttingen in 1933, the year he moved to Britain. The reputation he gained with Pioneers of the Modern Movement (1936), on the origins of modern architecture, and Academies of Art (1940), one of the earliest social histories of art, was internationally confirmed by An Outline of European Architecture (1942), which proved widely influential for its innovative philosophical approach to architectural form. From 1942 to 1969 Pevsner taught at Birkbeck College, London, becoming Professor of the History of Art in 1959; he also held professorships at Oxford and Cambridge and was knighted in 1969. In 1941 he began a long association with Penguin Books; he edited the King Penguin series and the Pelican History of Art and produced The Buildings of England (46 volumes, 195174), the exhaustive architectural survey which is his greatest achievement. Other important works in his remarkably prolific career include The Englishness of English Art (1956) and A History of Building Types (1976).

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