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Jorrit Britschgi. Obituary: Helmut Brinker (1930-2012)

With the sudden death of Helmut Brinker at the age of 72, the art world has lost an important scholar of Japanese and Chinese art history. Brinker was born in Lübbecke (Westfalen, Germany) at the outset of World War II. In 1959, he enrolled at Heidelberg University and studied – after discarding German philology – East Asian art history, sinology, Western art history (and archaeology, which would later become one of his preferred fields of research) under the guidance of professors like Wolfgang Bauer and his mentor and later close friend, Dietrich Seckel. Like Seckel, Brinker was to become one of the first leading scholars of East Asian art history in Europe, to whose research and publications the following generation of students and scholars is greatly indebted.

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