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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

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

(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

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 ...