Jean Adhémar

Jean Adhémar (18 March 1908 – 30 June 1987) was a French librarian, academic, and art historian. He was born in Paris, France.

Jean Adhémar
Born18 March 1908 Edit this on Wikidata
Died30 June 1987 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 79)

Adhémar was Curator of the "Cabinet Des Estampes (prints)" at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France from 1932 to 1961, and headed the department from 1961 until 1972. He introduced photography to the Bibliothèque.

Adhémar graduated from the École Nationale des Chartes and held a Doctorate ès Lettre from the Sorbonne. He was a professor at the École du Louvre and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

As a young scholar, Adhémar was an affiliate of the Warburg Institute in London. He introduced France to the ideas and methods of Erwin Panofsky, Meyer Schapiro, and Edgar Wind by broadening its analysis and research to widen the field of human mentality history. He published articles, books, and catalogues, and was considered one of the world's foremost experts on prints (with a predilection for the 19th century).

Adhémar was the editor of the Gazette des Beaux-Arts until his death, and was the founder of the Nouvelles de l'Estampe (1963).


  • Souchal, François (1988). "Jean Adhémar (1908-1987)". Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes. 146 (2): 457–458 – via Persée.