The Art of Laughter in the Age of Bruegel: The Twelfth Horst Gerson Lecture, held on November 20, 2003


Walter S. Gibson


The Twelfth Gerson Lecture, held in memory of Horst Gerson (1907-1978) in the Aula of the University of Groningen on November 20, 2003.

For many centuries the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel have been subjects of delight, fascination and wonder. Yet their meaning, in spite of many studies and widely diverse interpretations, often still seem to elude us. Prof. Walter Gibson, an internationally acclaimed expert on Bosch and Brueghel, discusses an aspect of their work that has received only scant attention: humor and laughter.



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Author Biography

Walter S. Gibson

Walter Samuel Gibson, born in 1932 in Columbus, Ohio. Gibson's father was Walter Samuel Gibson, an engineer and his mother, Grace B. Wheeler (Gibson), worked as a secretary. After high school, Gibson was drafted by U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, working in the Finance Corps between 1952 and 1954. He entered Ohio State University after discharge, graduating cum laude with a B.F.A. in 1957. He matriculated at Harvard University, receiveing his M.A., in 1960. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, traveling to Europe for the 1960-1961 year to research his dissertation. While completing his Ph.D., he joined Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, as an assistant professor in 1966. He remained at Case the rest of his career. His doctorate was awarded in 1969 with a dissertation on Cornelis Engebrechtsz written under Seymour Slive (q.v.). He rose to associate professor at Case in 1971, chairing the department from then until 1979. The following year, 1972 Gibson married Sarah Scott, an educator and college administrator in 1972. His book on Hieronymus Bosch, appeared in 1973 followed by a revision of his dissertation and a monograph on Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1977. Gibson was appointed Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities in 1978. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, traveling to Europe for the 1960-1961 year. Gibson was named a Guggenheim fellow in 1978.
Keywords: Norther Renaissance;  particularly Bosch scholar;  professor;  Case Western Reserve University



July 26, 2018


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