Virginia Pitts Rembert

Virginia Pitts Rembert was an American professor, scholar, and author. Her record of research and publication ranged from Northern European art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to contemporary art. A brilliant teacher, she mentored generations of art and art history students during a career that spanned over 45 years.

Virginia Pitts was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned a BA in Art and English from the Alabama College for Women (now University of Montevallo), an MA in Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education from Teachers' College, Columbia University, an MA in Art History from The University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University, where she wrote her dissertation, Mondrian, America, and American Painting.

It was her doctoral dissertation (and later book) on twentieth-century Dutch abstractionist Piet Mondrian and his influence on American painting that introduced her to Carl Holty and his work, leading her eventually to write a biography of Holty as well.

She was married to John Lamar Rembert, III, who died in 1978. Virginia and John met while matriculating at Columbia University. After John experienced a stroke, Virginia took over his teaching responsibilities at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

Her teaching and administrative appointments included Massachusetts College of Art, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she was Donaghey Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History, and the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa).

Virginia Pitts Rembert has written two books: Piet Mondrian in the USA: The Artist’s Life and Work (2002) and Bosch: Hieronymous Bosch and the Lisbon Temptation: A View from the Third Millennium (2004). These represent her major research fields in modernist and abstract art in Europe and America and 15th and 16th Century art in Northern Europe. She also published articles in Art News, Art Papers, and Women's Art Journal.

After retiring from college teaching, she lived in New York City from 1991–2006. In 1993, she married artist Raeford Bailey Liles. In 2006, they moved to their native city, Birmingham, Alabama, where she continued to write and follow her secondary interests of drawing and painting watercolors and where Raeford had become a highly successful artist.

Virginia Pitts Rembert passed away at the age of 91. She is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham.
years of life: 15 November 1921 5 July 2013


оля мельникhas quoted2 years ago
As Mondrian worked to suppress the solids and voids of natural subjects in favour of their flat, geometric equivalents, he began to resolve the inconsistencies of three-dimensional natural space and two-dimensional artistic space. At first, he flattened objects, figures, trees, and facades into webs of contours, as in the paintings of 1911-1914. Then he treated the webs and later the crossings of their verticals and horizontals as independent members, unattached to the interstitial areas, as in the “Oceans” and
оля мельникhas quoted2 years ago
is original impetus for adapting abstractionism was motivated by spiritualism, but it was also motivated by logic
оля мельникhas quoted2 years ago
ese works, he created the paradigm for extending the rules of art when they can no longer carry the artist’s message. Every generation needs its examples of intellectual and creative courage. I believe that Piet Mondrian is such a model for artists of his adopted country
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