Helen Gardner (art historian)

Helen Gardner (art historian)

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Helen Gardner was an American art historian and educator. Her Art Through the Ages
Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Gardner's Art Through the Ages is an American textbook on art history, with the 2004 edition by Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya. The 2001 edition was awarded both a McGuffey award for longevity and the "Texty" Award for current editions by the Text and Academic Authors Association...

remains a standard text for American art history classes.

Gardner was born in Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester is the largest city in the U.S. state of New Hampshire, the tenth largest city in New England, and the largest city in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It is in Hillsborough County along the banks of the Merrimack River, which...

 and attended school in the Hyde Park
Hyde Park, Chicago
Hyde Park, located on the South Side of the City of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois, United States and seven miles south of the Chicago Loop, is a Chicago neighborhood and one of 77 Chicago community areas. It is home to the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science...

 neighborhood of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. In 1901 she graduated with a degree in classics from the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

.
After an interval as a teacher, she returned to the same university to study art history, and received a master's degree in 1918. In 1920 she began lecturing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

, where she would spend the rest of her career, with the exception of short appointments at UCLA and the University of Chicago.

Her major work, Art Through the Ages, was the first single-volume textbook to cover the entire range of art history from a global perspective. Frequently revised, it remains a standard textbook at American schools and universities. In 1932 she also published Understanding the Arts, an art appreciation text directed toward educators.