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Rudolf Arnheim papers, 1919-1998

Biographical Note

Rudolf Arnheim (1904-2007) was a writer, educator, art historian and psychologist who was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States where he primarily worked in New York and Massachusetts.
Rudolf Arnheim was born in Berlin, Germany on July 15, 1904. He received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Berlin in 1928. Arnheim worked as a film critic and editor for several magazines and journals after graduation. During this time, he gathered information which would be compiled in his book Film as Art (1932). When the Nazis came into power in 1933, Arnheim moved to Rome where he worked at the Institute for the Educational Film for six years, then moved to London in 1939 and worked as a translator for the British Broadcasting Company.
Arnheim immigrated to the United States in 1940. In 1943, he became a psychology professor at Sarah Lawrence College where he continued to teach until 1968. He also taught at the New School for Social Research during this time. From 1959 to 1960, he was a Fulbright lecturer at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan. After Sarah Lawrence College, Arnheim became a Professor of Psychology of Art at Harvard University, where he stayed until 1974 when he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Mary. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan from 1974 to roughly 1984.
Among his many publications are Art and Visual Perception, Toward a Psychology of Art, Visual Thinking, Entropy and Art, Picasso's Guernica, and The Power of Center. Arnheim died in Ann Arbor in 2007.