September 15, 1920
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Died||June 14, 2014 (aged 93)|
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Zoya Gregorevna Sandomirsky (m. 1946)|
Sophia (Rapoport) Slive
Seymour Slive (September 15, 1920 - June 14, 2014) was an American art historian, who served as director of the Harvard Art Museums from 1975 to 1991. He was a scholar of Dutch art and more specifically of Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Jacob van Ruisdael.
A Chicago native and the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants Daniel and Sophia (Rapoport) Slive, Seymour received his BA in 1943 and PhD in 1952, both from the University of Chicago. He served in the Naval Reserve during World War II, starting in his Junior year of college, and in active duty in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1946.
Slive was appointed to his first teaching position at Oberlin College in 1950, but soon moved on to Pomona College, where he became an assistant professor of art and chair of department from 1952 to 1954. While there, he published his first book, Rembrandt and His Critics, 1630-1730. In 1954, he joined Harvard University, where he became a full professor seven years later in 1961. He was appointed chair of the Department of Fine Arts in 1968, remaining in the post until 1971. He lectured as the Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University during the 1972/1973 academic year. In 1973, Slive was appointed Gleason Professor of Fine Arts and later concurrently became Director of the University's Harvard Art Museums in 1975. He was the founded director under the museum's creation and expansion of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. He retired emeritus from Harvard in 1991 as the Elizabeth and John Moore Cabot Founding Director of the Harvard University Art Museums.