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Panofsky was born in Hannover, Germany, in 1892, and studied at the Universities of Berlin, Munich, and Freiburg. He served as a professor of art history at the University of Hamburg for several years before he was dismissed by the Nazis. Panofsky immigrated to the United States, where he eventually assumed a faculty post at the Institute for Advanced Study; he remained in Princeton until his death in 1968. During his long tenure there he lectured and produced writings on a wide range of art history topics, emerging as a dominant figure in the growth of art historical study in the United States.
See the Library's exhibition catalogue: Meaning in the Visual Arts: An Exhibition suggested by the Writings of Erwin Panofsky (Princeton, 1969) [(ExB) 0639.739 no. 38]. [full text]