Walter Samuel Gibson, formerly of Williamstown, MA and Pownal, VT, died peacefully in Saratoga Springs, NY on November 18th.
Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1932, Professor Gibson served in the army during the Korean War conflict and graduated from Ohio State University in 1957. Following graduate work at Harvard, he spent a year in Europe on a Fulbright scholarship doing research for his dissertation. Dr. Gibson was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and chairman of the art history department at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio and a Guggenheim Fellow.
In 1972, Dr. Gibson married the late Sarah Scott who ultimately became the head librarian at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Upon relocating to New England, Dr. Gibson continued his scholarly research and served as visiting/adjunct professor at several colleges, including Williams College.
Renowned internationally as an authority on the 15th and 16th Netherlandish and Flemish masters, Dr. Gibson authored many books and scholarly articles during his long career. Among his most broadly studied artists were Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel.
In recent years, Dr. Gibson donated much of his art history library to Williams College, the Clark Art Institute and Bard College. He also gifted his extensive research, accumulated over the course of six decades, to the Rubenianum Museum in Antwerp, Belgium which has established the Walter S. Gibson Collection allowing future art historians to benefit from his scholarship.
Dr. Gibson is survived by his sister, June DeBusk. His brother, Robert, and sisters Joan, Maude, and Erla Ray preceded Dr. Gibson’s passing. A remembrance gathering and interment next to his late wife in Oak Hill cemetery in Pownal, Vt. will be scheduled at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations in Dr. Gibson’s memory may be made to the Clark Art Institiute.