Obituary: Craig Harbison, Professor Emeritus of Art History

Craig Harbison
Craig Harbison

Craig Stephen Harbison, 74, of Hadley, professor emeritus of art history, died May 17.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 19, 1944, he grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree in art history in 1966 from Oberlin College, where he studied under Wolfgang Stechow, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1971, where he studied with Erwin Panofsky, specializing in 15th- and 16th-century Dutch and Flemish painting.

His teaching career began at the University of California, Davis, in 1970. From 1972-74 he taught at Oberlin, his alma mater. He joined UMass Amherst in 1974, where he taught art history until he retired in 2003.

His books include “Jan van Eyck, The Play of Realism” (1991) and “The Mirror of the Artist: Northern Renaissance Art in its Historical Context” (1995).

He is survived by his brother, Robert Harbison of London, England; his former wife, Sherrill Rood Harbison of Amherst; and his two children, Hanne Harbison of Philadelphia and Colin Harbison of Fairfax, Virginia.

A memorial service will be held at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett on June 30 at 1 p.m.

Memorial gifts can be sent to the Human Rights Campaign, the Matthew Shepard Foundation or the New England Peace Pagoda.