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Walter Horn papers, 1908-1992, bulk 1943-1950

Horn, Walter William, 1908-1995

Art historian

Collection Information

Size: 2.7 linear feet

Summary: The papers of art historian and World War II Monuments Man Walter W. Horn measure 2.7 linear feet and date from 1908 to 1992, with the bulk of material dating from 1943 to 1950. Walter Horn taught art history at the University of California, Berkeley from 1938 to his retirement in 1974. During World War II, Horn served as Head of the U. S. Army Intelligence Unit of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section (MFAA.) The papers contain biographical materials; professional correspondence; records documenting his service in the MFAA; administrative files relating to his work at the University of California, Berkeley; and scattered photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Walter Horn (1908-1995) was an art historian in Berkeley, Calif. Horn was born in Waldangeloch, Germany, and grew up in Heidelberg and received his Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg in 1933, later immigrating to the United States in 1938. He taught in the History of Art Department of the University of Calif. at Berkeley, and served as chair of the Department of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1946 until his retirement in 1974. A leading Medievalist, Horn is often credited with establishing the study of art history in the Western United States. After the Second World War he was assigned to the Army Intelligence Unit of Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives, the division that was responsible for locating and restoring to original owners art looted by the Nazis and hidden in salt mines in Bavaria. Among his colleagues are Thomas Carr Howe and George L. Stout. Since 1937 Horn had devoted himself to the study of classical concepts in medieval art and the principles of architectural design in the bar system of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.


Walter Horn donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1989. Additional papers were donated by his wife Dr. Alberta Parker Horn in 1998 and 2002.

Language Note

Some correspondence: In German.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Samuel K. Kress Foundation.