Skip to main content

Webster, J. Carson (James Carson), 1905-1989

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1905-1989

James Carson Webster, an art historian, was born in Bloomfield, Ohio on June 27, 1905. Webster's research interests were comprised of Medieval art and architecture, American art and architecture, particularly nineteenth century, and modern art, most notably impressionism. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1934 and remained unil retirement in 1973.

Webster earned his B.A.(1929), M.F.A. (1933), and Ph.D. (1939) degrees at Princeton University. He also attended graduate school at the University of Paris (France), Sorbonne College during the summers of 1930 and 1931.

Webster joined the Northwestern University faculty as an instructor in the history of art in 1934. In 1938 he was promoted to assistant professor of art. Webster advanced to associate professor in 1942 and professor in 1948. He was acting chairman of the Department of Art for 1941-1946. From 1960 to 1964 Webster was chairman of the Department. In the summer of 1948 he served as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and in the summer of 1958 at the University of Minnesota.

Webster's research interests were comprised of Medieval art and architecture, American art and architecture, particularly nineteenth century, and modern art, most notably impressionism. Among Webster's most significant publications were his dissertation on Antique and Medieval art, The Labors of the Months in Antique and Medieval Art, published by Princeton University. The other significant monograph authored by Webster was on the American Sculptor Erastus D. Palmer entitled: Erastus D. Palmer: Sculpture-Ideas (1983).

Architecture in Chicago was of particular interest to Webster. He edited a book entitled The Chicago School of Architecture: A Symposium (1972). Webster also served on the Commission on Chicago Architectural Landmarks and assisted the Historic American Buildings Survey, Chicago Recording Project.

Webster served as the president of the Midwestern College Art Conference (1947-1948), and Editor-in-Chief of a magazine called Art Bulletin (1953-1956). In 1938 Webster was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.

In 1973 Webster retired from Northwestern and was appointed professor emeritus of art. Webster married Elizabeth Webster in 1935. A son, James C(arson), was born in 1942. Webster died on February 15, 1989.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

J. Carson Webster (1905-1989) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 11/3/4/4
Abstract The J. Carson Webster Papers fill twelve boxes and span the period 1931-1989. The Papers are comprised of six categories: education files, correspondence, teaching files, research files, professional organizations files, and publications. Two folders of biographical materials and three folders of speeches and talks are also included.
Dates: 1931-1989