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date: 06 December 2019

Whittemore, Thomas locked

(b Cambridge, MA, Jan 2, 1871; d Washington, DC, June 8, 1950).
  • Lawrence E. Butler

Extract

(b Cambridge, MA, Jan 2, 1871; d Washington, DC, June 8, 1950).

American archaeologist and Byzantinist . Whittemore studied English literature at Tufts College, graduating in 1894, and then took graduate classes at Harvard. He taught English at Tufts from his graduation in 1894 until 1911, and from 1902 to 1903 included topics in ancient and medieval art; he taught both English and fine arts at Columbia University summer school in 1908. In 1911 he went to Egypt, excavating with the Egypt Exploration Society at Sawama near Akhmim in 1913–14 and at Abydos in 1914, beginning a life-long career in field archaeology. From 1920 he worked on sites in Bulgaria including Belovo, Mesembria, and Perustica, collaborating with Nikodim Kondakov’s circle of Russian associates.

He is remembered today mostly for his achievements as a Byzantinist, in particular the founding of the Byzantine Institute of America. As a member of Isabella Stewart Gardner’s circle in Boston at the turn of the century, he met scholars from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts such as Okakura Kakuzo and Matthew Stewart Prichard, who may have guided him into exploring non-Western and, particularly in the case of Prichard, Byzantine art, just then becoming fashionable with the support of modernists such as Roger Fry. In a ...

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Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1928–)