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Peter Lasko, 79; Art Historian Led Institute in London

June 01, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Peter Lasko, 79, an art historian who headed the Courtauld Institute in London from 1974 to 1985, died May 18 in France, his family announced. They did not provide the cause or location of his death.

Born in Berlin in 1924, Lasko left Germany for Britain with his parents in 1937. He studied at the Courtauld Institute after World War II. In 1950, he was named assistant keeper at the British Museum, a post he held for 15 years.

In 1965, he became professor of visual arts at the University of East Anglia. He was founding dean of its school of fine arts and music. While there, he wrote "Ars Sacra," about metalwork and ivory carving from the 9th century to the 12th century for the Pelican History of Art series.

At the Courtauld, he succeeded Anthony Blunt, unmasked in 1979 as a Soviet spy, part of a ring that formed at Cambridge University and included Guy Burgess and Kim Philby.

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