Myron Laskin Jr. died in Los Angeles on September 23, 2017. Born and raised in Milwaukee, he graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Fine Arts in 1952.
After earning his Master’s degree at Harvard as well, he served in the US Army before entering New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where he earned his PhD in 1964. Research for his dissertation on “The Early Work of Correggio” was carried out in Italy as a Fulbright scholar, and he would continue his work on Correggio later as a recipient of the fellowship at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti. Dr. Laskin was a fellow at I Tatti during the great flood of 1966 and was himself one of the “mud angels,” experiences that contributed to his love for the city of Florence, where he maintained a home and visited frequently. As Curator of the Department of European Art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and subsequently as Curator of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, he had unique opportunities to shape the collections of both institutions through the acquisition of great works of art.
Dr. Laskin’s affection for his adopted home of Florence and for his alma mater, along with his commitment to the study and preservation of artistic patrimony, inspired him to provide generous support for conservation projects carried out at Villa La Pietra from 2008 to 2016. These included: the examination, documentation and surface cleaning of two grand portraits by Giacomo Ceruti; the examination, scientific analysis and documentation of a detached fresco by Giovanni da San Giovanni; the examination and conservation of the wood support, and consolidation of the paint surface of a sixteenth-century Florentine Holy Family; and the consolidation, wet cleaning, treatment and reinstallation of a sixteenth-century Flemish verdure tapestry from Oudenaarde.