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Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

(b London, May 9, 1874; d London, March 2, 1939).

English archaeologist, epigrapher and copyist. Howard and his sister Amy (later Walker), a miniaturist, and brother William (1863–1939), a society portrait painter, were taught to paint by their father, Samuel John Carter (1835–92), who was a successful animal painter and watercolourist in Norfolk and London. Between 1889 and 1891 Howard Carter drew and catalogued the Egyptological collection of William Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney (1835–1909), whose influence enabled him in 1891 to join the Archaeological Survey of Egypt, for which he drew reliefs and inscriptions from the Middle Kingdom tombs at Beni Hasan and Deir el-Bersheh. His work on the temple reliefs and inscriptions of Deir el-Bahri (see Thebes §IV) established his reputation as the finest Egyptological copyist and epigrapher since Achille Prisse d’Avennes (1807–79). The six volumes of Carter’s drawings at Deir el-Bahri were reproduced between 1893 and ...

Article

L. Glynne Davies

(b Amsterdam, Feb 24, 1897; d London, July 16, 1954).

Dutch archaeologist and cultural historian. After studying at the University of Amsterdam and under Flinders Petrie at University College, London, he directed the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Akhenaten’s city of Amarna, (Tell) el- and elsewhere (1925–9). He was Field Director of the Iraq Expedition of the Oriental Institute of Chicago from 1929 to 1937 and conducted excavations at the Assyrian site of Khorsabad and in the Diyala region; the latter made an important contribution to knowledge of the art of the Sumerians, particularly of their architecture and of the Early Dynastic period (c. 2900–2500 bc). He held professorships at Chicago, Amsterdam and London and was Director of the Warburg Institute from 1949 to 1954. In 1954 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and he was also Corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

Frankfort was a scholar of immense range, insight and artistic sensibility, with an abiding concern for the interrelations of the cultures of the ancient Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and he was instrumental in defining a structure for the integrated study of early Near Eastern civilizations. It was characteristic of his approach to see artefacts as works of art that could lead to a deeper understanding of ancient cultures, rather than merely as sources of historical data: his ...

Article

(b Charlton, Kent (now in London), June 3, 1853; d Jerusalem, July 29, 1942).

English archaeologist and writer. He was educated at home by unconventional parents, inheriting from his father (a chemical engineer and inventor) his mathematical ability and manual dexterity and from his mother (the daughter of Matthew Flinders, the explorer and circumnavigator of Australia) his interest in antiquity. As a young man he surveyed and recorded many earthworks and prehistoric monuments in southern England; he made the first accurate survey of Stonehenge and from 1880 to 1882 measured the pyramids of Giza. Once in Egypt, he found his life’s work: to extract from the soil not only inscriptions and objets d’art but all the information about an ancient civilization that could be gleaned from the study of its artefacts. He realized the significance of pottery, hitherto discarded by excavators, as dating evidence and emphasized the importance of recording together all associated finds, such as grave groups. Excavating in the Faiyum in 1887–9...

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 (...