Doctor of Humane Letters 1979
Eminent scholar of Spanish art and wise teacher, he has, during a career spanning more than forty years, given to art and his students the immeasurable benefits of his penetrating insights, his great breadth of erudition and his warm, genial humanity. Born in Madrid and educated there and in Florence, he first taught at the University of Madrid and served in the Ministry of Education during the Spanish Republic. Forced to flee Spain with his ideals for a free society in 1939, he came to the United States, teaching first at Smith College and since 1940 at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has shared his knowledge in ten books and over a hundred scholarly articles, catalogue forewords and reviews. His contributions to the understanding of Goya and Velazquez remain definitive and stand as elegant paradigms of art history as humanistic discipline. He was crucially instrumental in convincing the late Algur Meadows that his vision of a great collection of Spanish art at SMU was a viable possibility and in setting the standard of quality to which it has aspired. He has remained a true friend of the University, and, in recognition of his many contributions, Southern Methodist University is proud to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.