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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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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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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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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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Mason, Otis Tufton (10 April 1838–05 November 1908), ethnologist and museologist, was born in Eastport, Maine, the son of John Mason, a sea trader, and Rachel Thompson Lincoln. The father suffered financial reversals when Mason was a child and moved the family several times before again becoming prosperous and settling in 1849 at Woodlawn Plantation in Fairfax County, Virginia. A devout Baptist with certain advanced ideas, John Mason provided schools for his workers’ children and sent his own children to them. Otis Mason went on to study at Columbian College (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C., where he earned an A.B. in 1861, an A.M. in 1862, and a Ph.D. in 1879....

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Moore, Charles Herbert (10 April 1840–15 February 1930), painter, scholar, and educator, was born in New York City, the son of Charles Moore, a lace merchant, and Jane Maria Berendtson (anglicized as Benson). He attended New York public schools and began taking drawing lessons from the landscape painter Benjamin Coe by age thirteen. While still a teenager Moore began exhibiting his paintings at the National Academy of Design, supporting himself by selling landscapes to New York art dealers and teaching drawing and painting from Coe’s studios at New York University. During the early 1860s Moore’s sketching tours of the Hudson River valley increased in frequency and duration. His efforts during these trips are represented by four landscapes given to Vassar College by ...

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Ostroff, Eugene (06 July 1928–26 August 1999), historian of photography, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of John Ostroff and Beatrice Weiss Ostroff. After attending the University of California at Los Angeles in 1946, he transferred to Los Angeles City College to study photography, graduating as an Associate in Arts in 1948. He attended New York University from 1948 to 1950 and Columbia University from 1955 to 1958. At Columbia he studied the emerging field of photographic engineering with Professor Lloyd E. Varden and decided to pursue this as his career....

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Putnam, Frederic Ward (16 April 1839–14 August 1915), anthropologist, naturalist, and museologist, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of Ebenezer Putnam and Elizabeth Appleton. His early years were devoted to the study of natural history on his own, beginning with a serious interest in the study of birds. Remarkably, he became a curator of ornithology at the Essex Institute in Salem in 1856 at age seventeen. That same year Putnam entered the Lawrence Scientific Schools at Harvard University. There he was a pupil and an assistant of the eminent naturalist ...

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Sachs, Paul Joseph (24 November 1878–17 February 1965), museum director, teacher, and art collector, was born in New York City, the son of Samuel Sachs, a partner in the firm of Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Louisa Goldman. The family was part of the close-knit German-Jewish community in New York City. Paul Sachs attended the Sachs School in New York, a preparatory school operated by his uncle. He was attracted to art from his youth. In his memoirs he recounted how his bedroom became a gallery of prints and photographs and that he secretly harbored artistic aspirations. Although he soon determined that he lacked artistic talent, the study of the fine arts became the driving force of his life. At eighteen he took a trip with his father to Europe, where he saw many works of art. He entered Harvard in 1896, where he studied art under ...

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Vaillant, George Clapp (05 April 1901–13 May 1945), archaeologist, museum administrator, and cultural attaché, archaeologist, museum administrator, and cultural attaché, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George Wightman Vaillant, a stockbroker, and Alice Vanlora Clapp. In 1918 he enlisted in the marines and served until World War I ended. Vaillant then entered Harvard, intending to study literature and history. He became interested in anthropology and archaeology serendipitously during the summer after his freshman year. His college friend Singleton Moorehead, the son of archaeologist Warren K. Moorehead, invited Vaillant to spend the summer working on his father’s archaeological excavation of a Native American burial site in Maine for the Peabody Museum. Vaillant’s interest was piqued during this experience. When he returned to Harvard as a sophomore, he concentrated in anthropology and archaeology. By the time he was twenty-six years old Vaillant had earned three degrees in anthropology from Harvard (A.B., magna cum laude, 1922; M.A., 1925; Ph.D., 1927). His unpublished but widely circulated doctoral dissertation “The Chronological Significance of Mayan Ceramics” was a pioneering work on the chronology and cultural history of the Maya. In this research, embracing a multidisciplinary approach, Vaillant synthesized both the techniques and findings of ethnology, ethnohistory, and archaeology. The Holmul sequence he developed was the first ceramic chronology of this area....

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Winser, Beatrice (11 March 1869–14 September 1947), librarian and museum director, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Henry Jacob Winser, a journalist, and Edith Cox. Two months after his daughter’s birth, Henry Winser left the New York Times for a twelve-year term as U.S. consul general at the court of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg; the family later returned to New York City....

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Wissler, Clark (18 September 1870–25 August 1947), anthropologist, museologist, and psychologist, was born Clarkson Davis Wissler in Wayne County, Indiana, the son of Benjamin Franklin Wissler, a schoolteacher, and Sylvania Needler. From 1888 to 1893 he taught public school in Wayne County. He entered Indiana University in 1893, graduating in 1897 with a B.A. in psychology. He continued his work in psychology at Indiana, receiving his M.A. in 1899 while also teaching psychology at Ohio State. That year Wissler married Etta Viola Gebbart; they had two children. In 1901 he received his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, where he had become well acquainted with ...