Architectural historian James Ackerman, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus, died Saturday in Cambridge. He was 97.
A World War II veteran who discovered a lifelong passion for Renaissance architecture while stationed in Italy, Ackerman was an acclaimed scholar of Renaissance history and the theory of architecture.
“His books were all milestones in the field — books that seem as perfectly balanced as the buildings they interpreted,” said Joseph Koerner, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, adding that Ackerman’s mastery as a teacher matched his intellectual genius. “He inspired generations of undergraduates and trained many of America’s leading scholars and museum professionals.”