David Coffin, a longtime faculty member in Princeton's art and archaeology department who influenced generations of scholars with his authoritative research on Italian Renaissance garden and landscape design, died of heart failure Oct. 14. He was 85.
A beloved teacher known for his modest demeanor, Coffin joined the faculty at Princeton, his alma mater, as a lecturer in 1949 and retired as the Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture in 1988.
"He opened up the field of garden and landscape studies as an academic discipline with his award-winning writings on Italian villas," said Patricia Fortini Brown, chair of the Department of Art and Archaeology.
John Pinto, the current Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture, noted, "He trained an entire generation of scholars who deal with the history of garden and landscape design. Of the generation that is out there now, many of the best were trained by him. His published work provided important early models for work going on now."
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Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601