The Archaeological Institute of America has established a permanent annual lecture in memory of Peter H. von Blanckenhagen.
Von Blanckenhagen (1909–1990) was born in the Latvian city of Riga, then under the Russian czar. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, his family fled to Germany, where he was educated in classical archaeology. In 1947 von Blanckenhagen came to the United States as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago; he returned to Germany but later emigrated and in 1956 became an American citizen. Best known for his expertise in Roman painting and sculpture, he had a long and distinguished career during which he published numerous books and articles and held several eminent lectureships. Among the accolades bestowed upon him were the Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany (1981) and the AIA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement (1982).
At his death, von Blanckenhagen was the Robert Lehman Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. An inspired lecturer, he introduced a generation of students to classical art.
The Peter H. von Blanckenhagen Memorial Lecture was generously endowed by one of his former students, Elizabeth Bartman, and her husband, Andrew Solomon. The Lecture will be given annually on a topic related to Greek or Roman art and archaeology.