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Article

Donald F. Easton

(William)

(b Minneapolis, Jan 27, 1887; d Athens, Aug 24, 1971).

American archaeologist. From 1911 to 1927 he held posts at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens; from 1927 onwards he was Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. Early surveys and soundings around Corinth led to excavations at Korakou (1915–6), which established a full Bronze Age sequence for the Greek mainland, a sequence then confirmed at Zygouries (1921–2). Excavations at Nemea (1924–6) and Acrocorinth (1926) dealt mainly with Classical periods. But at Prosymna in the Argolid (1925–8) Blegen exposed a large Middle and Late Helladic cemetery. Further study of burial customs and of the distribution of prehistoric sites convinced him that Greek-speakers entered Greece c. 1900 bc, a view long influential but now doubted. His excavations at Troy (1932–8) greatly refined previous findings by Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld and suggested that Troy VIIa, not VI, was destroyed in the Trojan War (...

Article

J. Lesley Fitton

(Ann)

(b Boston, MA, Oct 11, 1871; d Washington, DC, March 31, 1945).

American archaeologist. She was a pioneer of the archaeological excavation of Minoan Crete, first travelling in the island in 1900 as a fellow of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Adventurous and intrepid, she explored the area of east Crete around the Isthmus of Hierapetra, covering the rough terrain on mule-back. At the suggestion of Sir Arthur Evans, then beginning his investigation of Knossos, she excavated at Kavousi on the eastern side of the Gulf of Mirabello, revealing remains of an early Iron Age site. On her return to Crete in 1901 information from a local peasant led to her most remarkable discovery, the prosperous Minoan town of Gournia, where she directed excavations in 1901, 1903, and 1904, often employing a workforce of more than a hundred. She succeeded in unearthing virtually the whole town, and the evidence, which she published with exemplary speed, provided useful comparisons with that from the grander palace sites at Knossos and Phaistos. She married the English anthropologist Charles Henry Hawes in ...

Article

Lawrence E. Butler

(b Croton Falls, NY, March 7, 1872; d Paris, Aug 13, 1922).

American archaeologist and teacher. After receiving his MA in 1893 from Princeton University with a fellowship in archaeology, Butler studied architecture at Columbia University. From 1895 until his death he held various appointments at Princeton in architecture, archaeology, and art: his teaching of architecture as one of the fine arts led to the creation of the Princeton School of Architecture, of which he became the founding director in 1922. He was one of the most influential American archaeologists of his time, owing to his discoveries in Syria and at Sardis. His work in Syria was inspired by Melchior de Vogüé’s explorations there in the 1860s. Butler organized and led an American expedition in 1899 with the intention of verifying, photographing, and adding to the list of de Vogüé’s sites. His work in Syria continued until 1909 and resulted in several important publications on the early Christian architecture. In 1910 he began excavating at Sardis, uncovering the Artemis Temple and a number of important Lydian objects, until ...

Article

Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...

Article

Anastasia N. Dinsmoor

(b Wyndham, NH, July 29, 1886; d Athens, July 2, 1973).

American architect and Classical archaeologist. He studied architecture at Harvard University, graduating in 1906, and worked for three years in architectural practice. Architectural history claimed him, however, and he devoted his life to the study of Greek architecture, becoming one of the leaders in this field. He divided his time between teaching at Columbia University, where he received a PhD in 1929, and conducting field research, mainly in Greece. He wrote four books and numerous articles between 1908 and 1968, mostly on Athenian architecture. Dinsmoor was associated throughout his life with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, serving as Fellow in Architecture, Architect of the School and Professor of Architecture. He served as president of the Archaeological Institute of America between 1936 and 1945 and was later (1969) awarded the gold medal of the Institute for his archaeological achievements. At the end of World War II Dinsmoor was a member of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas....

Article

Cecile Johnson

(b New York, March 7, 1942).

British installation artist of American birth. She studied Mesoamerican archaeology and anthropology, tribal art, and linguistics, and conducted anthropological, fieldwork in Central America before moving to London and taking British residency in 1967. From the early 1970s Hiller included social, anthropological, and feminist concerns within her persistent questioning of traditional artistic notions of authorship, subject-matter, and methodology, which she articulated using painting, sculpture, sound, printed texts, video, photography, and drawing in numerous large-scale installations. Dedicated to the Unknown Artists (1972–6; exh. Brighton, U. Sussex, Gardner A. Cent., 1976) consisted of 305 ‘rough sea’ postcards collected by the artist from England, Scotland, and Wales, with accompanying charts and notes exploring the relationship between the linguistic description and visual depiction of ‘rough seas’. Photographed anonymously, the uncredited postcards were seen by Hiller as cultural artefacts, and her role as that of a collaborator who relocates them in an (installational) art context with her detailed document recording the entire process. Later works include the installation ...

Article

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 10, 1897; d New Haven, CT, Nov 14, 1966).

American theologian, historian, and archaeologist. From 1920 to 1941 he taught theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and at Yale University, but afterwards he began to shift his attention to archaeology and Middle Eastern studies. He became an authority on the Middle East, teaching for the latter part of his career at the University of Chicago, where he was Professor of Oriental Archaeology. His reputation was firmly established in 1938 with his publication of the results of excavations at Gerasa in Jordan, which was followed by other writings on Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Christian archaeology and Middle Eastern art. In 1946–7 he was Henri Focillon Scholar at the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington, DC, where he was in charge of research and did much to build up the Center’s scholarly programme. In 1955 he directed a symposium there entitled Palestine in the Byzantine Period. His best-known work is the authoritative volume on the synagogue at Dura Europos (...

Article

Nancy E. Green

(b Doylestown, PA, June 24, 1856; d Doylestown, March 9, 1930).

American archaeologist, ethnologist and decorative tile designer and manufacturer. Mercer grew up in a privileged Philadelphia family, and at a young age he began his lifelong love of travel, which would take him eventually throughout Europe, the Middle East and Mexico. These travels would later influence his tile designs for the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. From 1875 to 1879 he attended Harvard University, studying with George Herbert Palmer, Henry Cabot Lodge and Charles Eliot Norton, the latter having a defining influence on the development of his aesthetic sense. From 1880 to 1881 he read law, first with his uncle Peter McCall and then with the firm of Fraley and Hollingsworth, both in Philadelphia, though he never received his law degree. Thereafter, he returned to Europe, becoming interested in archaeology and beginning his lifelong passion for collecting the minutiae and mundane objects of everyday life, becoming one of the first scholars to examine history through a material culture lens....

Article

Peter Bleed

(b Portland, MA, June 18, 1838; d Salem, MA, Dec 20, 1925).

American zoologist, archaeologist, and museum director. From his youth he was an avid collector and student of mollusc shells, but after being expelled from every school he attended, he became an apprentice draughtsman. His sincere interest in biology and his artistic abilities won him an assistantship with Louis Agassiz (1807–73) at Harvard University in 1859. He left Harvard in 1867 without a degree to accept a post at the new Peabody Museum at Salem, MA. In 1875 Morse began research on Pacific brachiopods, which led him to Japan in 1877. To support his work Morse gave public lectures, which he illustrated with free-hand chalk drawings. These lectures were so successful in Japan that he was offered a two-year post to establish a zoology programme at the then new Tokyo Imperial University. Shortly after arriving in Japan, Morse noticed a concentration of seashells near Ōmori along the railway tracks between Yokohama and Tokyo (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Phoenix, RI, Feb 7, 1881; d Warren, CT, Sept 3, 1969).

American art historian and archaeologist. He was educated at Brown and Cornell universities and taught at the University of California and Amherst College. In 1920 he married Phyllis Ackerman, who shared his scholarly interests in Persian art. By 1923 he was director of the San Francisco Museum. In 1925 he began research in Iran and from that year acted as art adviser to the Iranian government. From 1930 he was director of the American Institute for Iranian Art and Archaeology (subsequently renamed Iranian, then Asia, Institute and transferred to Pahlavi University of Shiraz). He lectured widely and organized various exhibitions and congresses of Persian art in the USA, Great Britain, and Russia. His greatest achievement was editing the multi-volume Survey of Persian Art. In 1939 he was chairman of the Committee for Chinese War Orphans and from 1940 to 1948 chairman of the Committee for National Morale. From 1960 he was president of the International Association of Iranian Art and Archaeology. In ...

Article

Jacqueline Colliss Harvey

(b Stamford, CT, Feb 6, 1883; d Inishboffin, Ireland, July 8, 1933).

American archaeologist, writer, and art historian. He graduated from Yale (BA, 1904), the fourth in his class, and subsequently claimed he was ‘too well prepared’ for college. From 1904 to 1906 he studied at the School of Architecture, Columbia University, and then spent the next five years studying and travelling in Europe. His first book, Medieval Architecture (1909), was considered at the time the most important contribution on the subject by an American scholar, using documents and dated works to explore the influence of Lombardy on medieval European architecture. Lombard Architecture (1915–17) developed the theme and was awarded the Grande Médaille de Vermeil by the Société Française d’Archéologie. He became a lecturer at Yale in 1915 and professor in 1924, when he was also appointed the first William Dorr Boardman Professor at Harvard. In 1923 he published Romanesque Sculpture of the Pilgrimage Roads, which gave an 11th-century date to the site at ...

Article

Andrew N. Palmer and J. van Ginkel

(b Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Feb 22, 1902; d Knoxville, TN, Sept 22, 1968).

American archaeologist and art historian. He gained BSc and MFA degrees in architecture from Princeton University (NJ) in 1925 and 1928 respectively and practised as an architect in New York from 1929 to 1931. In 1931–4 he travelled in Greece, developing his knowledge of its Classical and medieval monuments. He returned to Princeton in 1935 and became a graduate student in the Department of Art and Archaeology, specializing in Early Christian and Byzantine art. He taught at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) from 1938, and in 1943 he obtained a fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, DC), where he remained for the rest of his career, becoming a full professor in 1960. In 1950 he also became Field Director of the Byzantine Institute and supervised archaeological and restoration projects in Istanbul and Cyprus. When the institute was taken over by Dumbarton Oaks, Underwood was elected its chairman, a post he held until ...

Article

(b Devonshire, Aug 22, 1873; d Toronto, Jan 24, 1960).

Canadian priest, archaeologist and museum curator of British birth. He went to Canada with his parents as a child and was educated at Wycliffe College, Toronto. After his ordination into the Anglican Church, he went to China in 1897 as a missionary and in 1909 was consecrated as the first bishop of Henan Province. During his time in Henan he also pursued research into Chinese art and archaeology, including a study of the tombs at Jincun (5th–2nd centuries bc), near Luoyang. He returned to Toronto in 1934 to become Keeper of the East Asiatic Collection, Assistant Director of the Royal Ontario Museum and Professor of Chinese Archaeology at the University of Toronto. From 1941 to 1948 he was also Director of the School of Chinese Studies there; he retired from all of these posts in 1948. In the field of Chinese art and archaeology his writings embraced a broad range of subjects from ancient tomb-tile pictures, bronzes and temple frescoes to ink-bamboo drawings by the 18th-century artist Chen Lin. About 3000 fragments of oracle bones that he collected in China entered the ...

Article

Lawrence E. Butler

(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 ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...