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Angle, Paul McClelland (25 December 1900–11 May 1975), historian and museum director, was born in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of John Elmer Angle, a grocer, and Nellie Laverne McClelland. After spending his freshman year at Oberlin College, he transferred to Miami University at Ohio and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1922. Two years later, he received an M.A. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then took a job with the American Book Company selling textbooks and in 1925 accepted the secretaryship of a little-known historical society in Springfield, Illinois, the Abraham Lincoln Centennial Association. In 1926 he married Vesta Verne Magee, a fellow student at Miami; they had two children....

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Bickmore, Albert Smith (01 March 1839–12 August 1914), educator and museum director, was born in Tenant’s Harbor, St. George, Maine, the son of John Bickmore, a sea captain and shipbuilder, and Jane Seavey. Bickmore’s passion for natural history began during childhood, when he was an avid collector of shells, birds, and insects, and his enthusiasm for travel was ignited by a sailing trip with his father to Bordeaux. Following preparatory education at New London Academy in New Hampshire, Bickmore graduated from Dartmouth in 1860 with an A.B. He then enrolled in the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard to study under the renowned zoologist ...

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Bieber, Margarete (31 July 1879–25 February 1978), archaeologist and art historian, was born in Schoenau, Kreis Schwetz, West Prussia (now Przechowo, Kreis Swiece, Poland), the daughter of Jacob Heinrich Bieber, an industrialist, and Valli Bukofzer. In 1899 she went to Berlin, prepared privately and passed her ...

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Carlos Chávez Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1937. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103962).

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Chávez, Carlos (13 June 1899–02 August 1978), influential Mexican composer/conductor, author, and educator, of Spanish and some Indian descent, was born Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez y Ramírez in Mexico City, the seventh son of Augustin Chávez, an inventor, and Juvencia Ramírez, a teacher. His mother supported the children after her husband’s death in 1902. Chávez began his musical studies at an early age and studied piano, first with his elder brother Manuel, then with Asunción Parra, and later with composer and pianist Manuel M. Ponce (1910–1914) and pianist and teacher Pedro Luis Ogazón (1915–1920). Chávez credited Ogazón with introducing him to the best classical and Romantic music and with developing his musical taste and technical formation. He received little formal training in composition, concentrating instead on the piano, analysis of musical scores, and orchestration. Chávez’s maternal grandfather was Indian, and from the time Chávez was five or six his family frequently vacationed in the ancient city-state of Tlaxcala, the home of a tribe that opposed the Aztecs. He later visited such diverse Indian centers as Puebla, Jalisco, Nayarit, and Michoacan in pursuit of Indian culture, which proved a significant influence on his early works....

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Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish (22 August 1877–09 September 1947), historian of the art of Ceylon and India, metaphysician, and champion of Indian culture in the West, was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), the son of Sir Mutu Coomaraswamy, a distinguished Ceylonese barrister and legislator, and Elizabeth Clay Beeby, an Englishwoman from a wealthy Kent family. Although his father died during Coomaraswamy’s infancy, his wealth, high social position, scholarly learning, and cross-cultural involvement strongly influenced his son. Coomaraswamy was brought to England in 1879, where he lived with his mother until he was sent to Wycliffe College, a preparatory school, at age twelve. In 1897 he entered University College, London, from which he graduated in 1900 with a B.S. in geology and botany. He received a D.Sc. from London University in 1906, writing on Ceylonese mineralogy and other scientific topics. Coomaraswamy was married four times: in 1902 to Ethel Mary Partridge, a weaver and needlewoman; in 1911 to Alice Richardson (also known as Ratan Devī), a singer and performer of Indian music, with whom he had two children; in 1922 to Stella Bloch, a dancer and painter; and in 1930 to Doña Luisa Runstein, a photographer, with whom he had one child. Coomaraswamy’s earliest occupation was as director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon (1902–1907), during which time he was also active in nationalistic movements to revitalize traditional Ceylonese culture. This was a concern of his that later broadened to encompass Indian art and culture and remained a lifelong commitment. In 1917 Coomaraswamy came to the United States as curator of Indian art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He remained at the Boston Museum for the remainder of his life, becoming fellow for research in Indian, Persian, and Mohammedan art in 1933....

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Cornish, Nellie Centennial (09 July 1876–07 April 1956), pianist and arts educator, was born in Greenwood, Nebraska, the daughter of Nathan Cornish, a businessman, and Jeannette Simpson. The U.S. centennial in 1876 was the source of her middle name. She founded the Cornish School of Music, now Cornish College of the Arts, a pioneer institution in the teaching of dance, music, and theater in the Pacific Northwest....

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Dana, John Cotton (19 August 1856–21 July 1929), librarian and museum director, was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Charles Dana and Charitie Scott Loomis. His father ran a general store and raised his sons with a New England emphasis on education and reading. Throughout his life, Dana maintained strong ties with his birthplace....

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Dow, George Francis (07 January 1868–05 June 1936), antiquarian, editor, and museum curator, was born in Wakefield, New Hampshire, the son of George Prince and Ada Bingham Tappan. He grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and lived there most of his life. After attending a commercial school in Boston, Dow entered the wholesale metal business, in which he was engaged from 1885 to 1898. During this time he became increasingly interested in local history and material culture. In 1893 Dow began to publish a local newspaper, the ...

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Ferguson, John Calvin (01 March 1866–03 August 1945), educator, art historian, and Chinese governmental adviser, was born in Lonsdale, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Ferguson, a Methodist minister, and Catherine Matilda Pomeroy, a schoolteacher. Because of his father’s itinerant occupation, he rarely lived in one location longer than two years. This did not dissuade him from pursuing a career in the clergy, however. He attended Albert College in Ontario before moving to Boston University, where he received the bachelor of arts degree in 1886. After some further study at the school of theology there, he was ordained a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church....

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Flanagan, Hallie Mae Ferguson (27 August 1890–23 July 1969), theater educator, administrator, and director, was born in Redfield, South Dakota, the daughter of Frederic Miller Ferguson, a businessman, and Louisa Fischer. Throughout her childhood, Hallie’s father encouraged her to believe in her uniqueness and individual potential, while her mother instilled in her a selflessness of putting others before herself. These conflicting ideas would haunt Hallie throughout her life as she tried to balance a career and a family. She sometimes believed she had failed as a wife and mother because she had devoted too much of herself to her career....

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Frothingham, Arthur Lincoln (21 June 1859–28 July 1923), archaeologist and historian of art and architecture, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Arthur Lincoln Frothingham, an author and amateur art collector, and Jessie Peabody. The Frothinghams enjoyed a certain degree of prosperity, moving to Italy when Arthur was five years old in order to protect his delicate health. Living first in Florence, the family later moved to Rome, where Frothingham spoke and wrote Italian as his first language. He attended the Academy of the Christian Brothers from 1868 to 1873 and the Catholic seminary of St. Apollinare and the Royal University from 1875 to 1881. In 1883 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in Germany. Having become a fellow in Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University in 1882, Frothingham remained there as lecturer until 1887, when he accepted a position at Princeton University. He was appointed full professor at Princeton, first of archaeology and the history of art (1896–1898), and then, of ancient history and archaeology (1898–1905). He remained at Princeton until retiring in 1906. In January 1897 he married Helen Bulkley Post; the couple had no children....

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Gordon, George Byron (04 August 1870–30 January 1927), archaeologist and museum director, was born in New Perth, Prince Edward Island, Canada, one of six children of James Gordon and Jane McLaren. Following a year at the University of South Carolina, he transferred to Harvard University. His archaeological career began in 1892 when he was appointed surveyor for the Harvard Peabody Museum’s second expedition to the Mayan site of Copán, Honduras. Upon his return he changed the focus of his education from engineering to archaeology....

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Belle da Costa Greene. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-91222).

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Greene, Belle da Costa (26 November 1879–10 May 1950), library director, bibliographer, and art connoisseur, was born Belle Marion Greener, the daughter of Richard Greener, a lawyer and Republican party activist, and Genevieve Ida Fleet Greener. Her place of birth was probably Washington, D.C., where her father held a variety of jobs. But specifics concerning Greene's childhood and education are scarce because she preferred to keep them a mystery. Apparently, she attended Teachers College in New York City, where the family had relocated after Richard Greener was rewarded with a patronage job for his efforts on behalf of the Republican party. Around 1897, Belle Marion Greener's parents separated, the children staying with their mother, who within a few years changed the surname to Greene and some years thereafter altered her maiden name from Fleet to Van Vliet. During this time the Greenes fully “passed” in the white world, and Belle da Costa Greene (who claimed for herself nonexistent Portuguese forebears) never acknowledged her African lineage....

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Hamlin, Alfred Dwight Foster (18 September 1855–21 March 1926), architectural educator, was born near Constantinople, Turkey, the son of Cyrus Hamlin, a Protestant missionary, educator, and founder of Robert College, and Harriet Martha Lovell. After a preparatory education in his father’s American school in Turkey, Hamlin embarked for the United States to attend Amherst College in 1871. A brilliant student in the classical Congregationalist education offered there, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, won several academic prizes, and graduated with honors in 1875....

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Hodge, Frederick Webb (28 October 1864–28 September 1956), anthropologist and museum director, was born in Plymouth, England, the son of Edwin Hodge and Emily Webb. Hodge’s family came to the United States in 1871, when he was seven years old; he became a naturalized citizen that year. His father was an employee of the postal service, and the family settled in Washington, D.C. In 1879 Hodge took a job as secretary in a local law firm, and from 1883 to 1886 he attended Columbian (now George Washington) University night classes. In 1884 he joined the U.S. Geological Survey as a stenographer, working for ...

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Hough, Walter (23 April 1859–20 September 1935), ethnologist and museologist, was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, the son of Lycurgus S. Hough, an attorney, and Anna Fairchild. He was trained in chemistry and geology at West Virginia University (B.A., 1883; M.A., 1894; and Ph.D., 1894)....

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Hoyte, Lenon (04 July 1905–01 August 1999), doll collector and art teacher, was born Lenon Holder in New York City, the oldest child of Moses Holder, a carpenter, and Rose Holder, who sewed hats for infants for a Manhattan department store. The family owned a house on 128th Street in Harlem, and Hoyte attended public schools there. It was a comfortable childhood, but ironically the doll collector to be and her sister were forbidden to play with dolls when the younger girl, after chewing on the hands of their dolls, contracted lead poisoning. Hoyte studied both art and education at the City College of New York, earning a B.S. degree in 1937, and at Teacher's College of Columbia University. She had private art teachers as well, and she painted in media such as oil, casein, and watercolor. In 1930 Hoyte was hired to teach in New York City elementary and junior high schools, which she did for 40 years. She began teaching art and added puppetry and doll making....

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Johnston, Ella Bond (19 November 1860–24 April 1951), art administrator and educator, was born near Webster, Indiana, the daughter of Simon H. Bond and Susan Harris, farmers. After attending the Friends School in Webster and then Richmond High School for two years, she became a teacher at Culbertson School, a one-room schoolhouse for pupils in grades one through twelve. Among her students was the future inventor, ...