Soper, Alexander

Soper, Alexander (Coburn, III)

(1904–93) architectural historian; born in Chicago. Trained as an architect and historian at Princeton, he taught at Bryn Mawr College (1939–60) and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1960). The first American historian of East Asian architecture, he laid the foundations for the study of Chinese and Japanese architecture in the U.S.A. He at first worked on Japanese architecture, turning after the 1960s to Buddhist art. He wrote The Art and Architecture of Japan (with R. Paine, 1955) and The Art and Architecture of China (with L. Sickman, 1956) and published numerous translations of art historical texts.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.