-Rudolf Arnheim

Rudolf Arnheim (1904-2007)

Rudolf Arnheim is one of the most important scholars to advance a psychological approach to aesthetics. After training in experimental psychology at the University of Berlin in the 1920s, he did pioneering work on film and radio in Germany and Italy. Fleeing Nazism in Germany and fascism in Italy, he settled into American academics where he applied his training in gestalt psychology to art. He taught most of his career at Sarah Lawrence College (1946-1968) while he was also on the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. During this period he wrote Art and Visual Perception (1954). In 1968 he was invited by Harvard University to occupy a chair in the Psychology of Art. At Harvard he wrote Visual Thinking (1969), a more broadly based exploration of thinking in general. Finally, Arnheim retired to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was visiting professor at the University of Michigan. He died in 2007 at the age of 102.

For works on Rudolf Arnheim, see:

Higgins, Scott, ed., Arnheim for Film and Media Studies (London: Routledge, 2011).

Pizzo Russo, Lucia, ed., Rudolf Arnheim: Arte e Percezione Visiva (Palermo: Aesthetica Preprint, 2005).

Verstegen, Ian, Arnheim, Gestalt, and Art: A Psychological Theory (Vienna: Springer, 2005).

Verstegen, Ian, Arnheim, Gestalt, and Media: An Ontological Theory (Cham: Springer, 2018).