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Gerda Soergel Panofsky collection on Erwin Panofsky

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials collected by Gerda Panofsky related to her late husband, Erwin Panofsky, and others affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study.


  • Creation: 1945-1967

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are welcome to publish, reproduce, and use the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center’s holdings in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law. Under the Fair Use doctrine, users may freely reproduce materials for personal research, teaching, and/or scholarship. Under the same doctrine, users may cite or publish selected passages and/or quotations for comment and criticism. In accordance to U.S. Copyright Law, researchers seeking to reproduce and/or publish materials in the entirety and/or for commercial purposes will require the permission of the copyright holder.

The Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright to materials generated by Institute employees over the course of their work for the Institute. Where the Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright, researchers are free to reproduce materials for one-time, non-commercial purposes. For all other cases, researchers are responsible for contacting the Archives Center to request permission at: For all materials for which the Institute is not the copyright holder, researchers that choose to pursue publication and/or reproduction are responsible for determining the individual who does hold the copyright and requesting permission directly from that individual. Researchers with questions regarding the reproduction or use of archival materials can contact the Archives Center to request help at:

Biographical / Historical

Gerda Soergel Panofsky is an art historian. Born in Germany, she received her doctoral degree from the University of Cologne and worked in several European institutions before coming to the United States to serve as an assistant to Millard Meiss of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1965-1966. She was a long-time member of the faculty at Temple University, and also held teaching positions at New York University and Freie Universität in Germany. She married Erwin Panofsky in 1966.

Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) was a German art historian specializing in Gothic and Renaissance art. He was both a prolific writer and a highly influential and beloved teacher. He received his Ph.D. in 1914 from the University of Freiburg. He taught in several European universities, including the University of Hamburg. He first came to the United States in 1931 to teach at New York University, and subsequently decided to stay in the United States when he was forced out of his position at the University of Hamburg when the Nazis came to power. By 1934 he was teaching concurrently at New York University and Princeton University. He joined the Faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1935, where he became its first art historian and one of its first humanists. He retired from the active faculty in 1962, but continued teaching, lecturing, and writing almost until the end of his life.


0.25 linear feet

Language of Materials



Archivists arranged this collection into the following two series: Photographs and Correspondence and ephemera related to Erwin Panofsky's dog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gerda Soergel Panofsky donated these materials to the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center in 2010 and 2011.

Related Materials

Administrative records relating to Erwin Panofsky's work at the Institute for Advanced Study can be found in various record groups in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center holdings, including the Records of the Office of the Director General Files and Faculty files, the Records of the Schools of Economics and Politics/Humanistic Studies, and the Records of the School of Historical Studies.

Erwin Panofsky's professional papers were donated to the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in 1979 and 1990. Some of his personal papers have been donated to the Leo Baeck Institute.

Guide to the the Gerda Soergel Panofsky collection on Erwin Panofsky
Finding aid prepared by Christine Di Bella.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
This finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2021-10-15: Caitlin Rizzo revised the finding aid to include a standard Conditions Governing Use note.