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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 ...


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....


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 (...