With the death of Arthur Kingsley Porter, Harvard loses one of its most able scholars and teachers. And it is not only Harvard and Cambridge which mourns his passing, but the whole world of Fine Arts, for Professor Porter was one of the three or four men in the field with a truly international reputation.
Although his loss would be a great one were it only for his work in the Fine Arts, he was also known for his brilliant contributions to literature; he was particularly interested in medieval and twentieth-century writings. In recent years Professor Porter developed a special interest in Ireland, its art and its literature. He was a poet as well as a scholar.
No students have ever had a more devoted friend and counsellor than those who had the good fortune to work under Professor Porter at the Fogg Museum and elsewhere. Although an exceedingly hard worker with great singleness of purpose, he always found time to make friends and help those with whom he worked. No one will ever know how many students received from him valuable advice and often monetary assistance, the latter frequently given anonymously.
It takes more than mere scholarship to be a teacher. Arthur Kingsley Porter was a great teacher, for he had not only the necessary knowledge, but the ability to win the love of his students and inspire them to follow in fields which he loved.