Peter H. von Blanckenhagen— 1982 Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement
Peter H. von Blanckenhagen, a specialist in Hellenistic and Roman architectural design, wall-painting and sculpture, has signally influenced scholarship in these fields. Recognizing the dependence of style in Roman art on class demands and Imperial policy, he has created an outlook on Roman art which has stood the test of time. Knowledge of the monuments, keen sensitivity to aesthetic appearances, interest in the facts and failures of European history and thought blend in his presentation, lending a depth of perspective which has awed many audiences. His literate style and oratorial powers are legendary. Often choosing topics outside the strictly art historical domain, exploring physiognomies shaped not by sculptors but by philosophers and poets, Peter von Blanckenhagen exemplifies the courage and independence of thinkers in the best humanist tradition. He received his academic training abroad but chose to make this country his own. In years decisive for the growth of Humanities programs in our institutions he helped to give art history the place of prominence it now deservedly holds. To the lecturer and writer on some of the most classical works of Classical art, to the teacher of the treasures of Pompeian wall-painting, to the perceptive and learned exegete of Platonic dialogues and of Carl Jacob Burckhardt, to the counselor and friend of many of us and of our academic institutions, to Peter von Blanckenhagen with the expression of gratitude and esteem we award this medal.