Tansey, Richard G. (1919-1998)

Tansey, Richard G. (1919-1998)

Date Updated




Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Harvard, 1950 Ph.D.

Harvard, 1943 MA

Harvard, 1942 AB

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1962-1980

UCLA, 1961-1962

San Jose State University, 1947-1961

Vassar, Subst. Teacher, Spring1947

Harvard, T.A., 1943-1945

Administrative and Professional Experience


Selected Publications

(Textbook‑‑History of Art).

Gardner's Art Through the Ages, co‑author, Horst De La Croix (died 1993), 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th editions, 1970‑1991; 10th ed., with Fred S. Kleiner, 1996.

"Visual Arts, West" in Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., 1974.

Personal Commentary

Since retirement in January 1980, I have travelled fairly widely with wife, sons or solo‑‑western Europe several times, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, Scandinavia, Central Asia, China, Japan, India. I have seen much and learned more. Last summer, I travelled with two sons to Belgium and northern France to visit the battlefields of the First World War‑‑the shattering event which started this civilization's fateful crisis.

Meanwhile, I have been researching and writing up some three editions of my history of art textbook (the 10th edition published January 1996), and have been working on a quite different book that has nothing to do with art, but everything to do with philosophy.

I regard with considerable misgivings these days our apparently total entanglement in the vast spider web of telecommunication, especially as it wrenches education out of shape, and as Silicon Valley redefines it. The young, long ensnared by television, are now bound by fibre‑optic strands to computer keyboard and terminal screen. San Jose State, in its eagerness to serve the wired community, will, I am sure, become a training station for the computer industry, "downsizing" its offerings in the humane studies, and failing to cultivate in students those powers of intelligence that have nothing to do with computation. Will there remain only the computer languages, changing every six months and just a smattering or so of broken English?

Date Completed: 9/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Tansey, Richard G. (1919-1998)