The central text Art and Illusion has an interesting history: it is central in the history of the psychology of perception, and has a persistent half-life in art history footnotes.

Gombrich's Story of Art was, as he often insisted, written for children: yet it remains the world's best-selling introduction to art for adults. (My own response to that curious history is the book Stories of Art, sadly written one year too late for Gombrich to see it.)

Gombrich was one of the humanities' greatest lecturers. I heard him give a lecture series at Cornell University in the 1970s, speaking largely extemporaneously but with perfect cadences and well-formed sentences. His accent was always thick, but also always clear.

Ten Reasons Why E.H. Gombrich Was Not an Art Historian

When Gombrich died in 2001 it was widely assumed that there would be a memorial volume, and several were mooted. This essay was requested by the College Art Association for their website; it was intended to collect responses that would form the basis of conferences or publications. Since then there have been several conferences and a number of papers, but Gombrich's relation to the discipline remains unsettled: he is at once widely cited and seldom emulated, as if he were somehow necessary to the discipline's sense of itself, but also separate from the discipline.

The pdf is available here. Comments, suggestions, and criticism are always welcome.

The essay was revised for publication in a volume by Jan Bakos, "Relativism versus Universalism in the Age of Globalisation and Ernst Hans Gombrich: On the Occasion of the Hundredth Anniversary of E.H.Gombrich's Birth, and afterward published as “Ten Reasons Why E.H. Gombrich is Not Connected to Art History,” Human Affairs [Bratislava] 19 no. 3 (2009). There is an Italian translation, “Le ragioni per cui Ernst H. Gombrich non può essere considerato uno storico dell'Arte,” Estetica, 2010. 

Like many people, I corresponded with Gombrich (he was a very patient letter writer), but I only met him once, at his home at 19 Briardale Gardens in London, where this photo was taken. His house was notoriously inconvenient, as if he'd chosen a place ideally distant from all possible tube stops.