In Memoriam: Guitty Azarpay (1934-2024)

April 9, 2024

The MELC department mourns Professor Emerita Guitty Azarpay, esteemed colleague and member of the department between 1964 and 1994 (continuing as active emerita for another decade), who passed away in early April 2024.

After completing her PhD at Cal in History of Art, Guitty Azarpay was only the second woman appointed to a tenure-track position in this department (then called Near Eastern Languages), joining the late Anne Draffkorn Kilmer (1931-2023) who was appointed the year prior. During her tenure at Berkeley, she was very active in the field of Iranian and Central Asian art nationally and internationally, but also at local Bay Area institutions including the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. She authored multiple standard works in her fields, including Urartian Art & Artifacts (1968) and Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art (1981).

Following her retirement, she endowed the Azarpay Distinguished Visitorship in order to bring visiting scholars to campus to teach on the arts of Iran and Central Asia.