Dora Jane Janson
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Dora Jane Janson

Dora Jane Janson, née Heineberg (1916-2002) was an American art historian, who collaborated with her husband Horst W. Janson.[1]


Dora Jane Janson was born in Philadelphia.[1] She studied art history at Radcliffe College, where she met Horst W. Janson, an émigré graduate student at Harvard University.[2] The couple married after he had gained his PhD in 1941. Janson "never denied that she conciously sacrificed her career to raise children".[1] She helped her husband with his 1952 monograph Apes and Ape Lore in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, providing an "exemplary index".[3] She also collaborated as co-author with her husband on The Story of Painting for Young People (1954) and History of Art (1962). History of Art entirely excluded women painters.[4]

Dora Janson's From slave to siren (1971), an extensive catalog of a Duke University Museum of Art exhibition on Victorian women's jewellery, related the jewelry to changing 19th-century ideals of feminine beauty and behaviour,[5] reflected in cameo portraiture.[6]

Janson died in Devon, Pennsylvania. Her son Anthony Janson is also an art historian.[1]


  • (with H. W. Janson) The picture history of painting: from cave painting to modern times, 1957
  • (ed. with H. W. Janson) Key monuments of the history of art: a visual survey, 1959
  • (with H. W. Janson) History of art: a survey of the major visual arts from the dawn of history to the present day, 1962
  • (with H. W. Janson and Joseph Kerman) A history of art and music, 1968
  • From slave to siren: the Victorian woman and her jewelry, from neoclassic to art nouveau, 1971
  • (with Hugh Johnson and David Revere McFadden) Wine, celebration and ceremony, 1985


  1. ^ a b c d Janson, Dora Jane, in Lee Sorenson, ed., Dictionary of Art Historians. Accessed 9 February 2020.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Sears and Charlotte Schoell-Glass, 'An Émigré Art Historian and America: H. W. Janson', The Art Bulletin, Vol. 95. No. 2 (June 2013), pp.219-242
  3. ^ 'Notes on Publications', Renaissance News, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring 1952).
  4. ^ D. Fairchild Ruggles (2014). Woman's Eye, Woman's Hand: Making Art and Architecture in Modern India. Zubaan. p. 13. ISBN 978-93-83074-78-5.
  5. ^ Gabriel P. Weisberg; Elizabeth K. Menon (2013). Art Nouveau: A Research Guide for Design Reform in France, Belgium, England, and the United States. Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-135-02313-3.
  6. ^ Jean Arnold (2011). Victorian Jewelry, Identity, and the Novel: Prisms of Culture. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-4094-2127-6.

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