Columbia Professor Commits Suicide
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An art history professor at Columbia University jumped to his death from his Morningside Heights apartment. Petrus Schaesberg, an adjunct professor, was found yesterday morning in the courtyard shared by 450 and 452 Riverside Drive.
According to the medical examiner’s office, which completed the autopsy yesterday afternoon, Schaesberg committed suicide, and died of blunt impact injuries to his head and body.
Schaesberg began teaching in the art history department in 2005 but was not teaching this semester.
The German native was also a photographer. A New York Times review of an exhibition of Schaesberg’s work said that his pictures were sometimes accompanied by “sophomoric, aphoristic texts,” which conveyed a “dry, philosophical” sensibility.
Schaesberg had lived on the eighth floor of 452 Riverside Dr., shared by many other Columbia professors, for the past two years.