- President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1999)
Eugene Kleinbauer believed that students must be present with great art to best study and understand it. That's why he sent his students in A101 Ancient and Medieval Art on scavenger hunts in the IU Art Museum, where they encountered a Greek vase or Roman mosaic floor, and why he took other students to view church architecture in nearby Columbus.
But not all great art is present at locations that Hoosier students can visit, so like other art history teachers, he often relied on high-quality slides or educational videos to bring images of art into the classroom, to show a Mesopotamian ziggurat or 6th-century Viking helmet, for instance.
When it's time for students to study on their own, to look closely again and synthesize all he's taught them and all they've seen, textbook illustrations alone often aren't enough. Kleinbauer helped solve that problem by pioneering the campus use of the World Wide Web so that students can be virtually present with great art wherever they are. With online review of the IU Slide Library's digitized images, which he introduced at IU in 1993, students can access thousands of images in computer labs or from home. Readers far beyond the bounds of IU can be counted among Kleinbauer's students, thanks to his scholarship and writing on the history of Western art. He specializes in medieval and Byzantine art and architecture and the artistic traditions of Islam.
The books Kleinbauer has written include Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture: An Annotated Bibliography and Historiography, and Research Guide to the History of Western Art. He is the editor of The Art of Byzantium and the Medieval West: Selected Studies by Ernst Kitzinger and Modern Perspectives in Western Art History: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Writings on the Visual Arts.
Kleinbauer died in 2019.