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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

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....