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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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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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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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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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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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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, ...

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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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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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Sargent, Irene Jesse (20 February 1852–14 September 1932), teacher and art critic, was born in Auburn, New York, the youngest daughter of Rufus Sargent, a manufacturer, and Phebe (maiden name unknown). Privately educated as a child, Sargent moved from Auburn to Boston with her parents when she was in her early twenties and thereafter claimed that city as her birthplace. Though no record of her formal education survives, she apparently studied music at the Boston Conservatory. She later studied the history of art and architecture at the University of Paris and in Rome as well as with ...

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Emily Sartain. Engraving by John Sartain. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-112191).

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Sartain, Emily (17 March 1841–17 June 1927), art educator and painter/printmaker, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Sartain, a mezzotint engraver, and Susannah Longmate Swaine. Sartain, one of two daughters and five sons, grew up in a family in which her father trained her brothers as professional artists. Socially prominent Unitarians and Associationists, her parents encouraged her to attend Philadelphia Normal School for Girls. When she began to teach public school upon graduation in 1858, she joined a predominantly female profession....

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Spofford, Grace Harriet (21 September 1887–05 June 1974), music educator and administrator, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the daughter of Harry Hall Spofford, a clothing store clerk, and Sarah G. Hastings. Following her graduation with honors from Haverhill High School in 1905, Spofford attended Mount Holyoke College for a year to study with the renowned organist William Hammond Churchill. Because the college offered no credit for music performance studies and required domestic work of its students, she withdrew and transferred to Smith College, where she studied with the acclaimed composer-organist Henry Dike Sleeper and with pianist Edwin Bruce Story. After graduating from Smith in 1909, Spofford studied for a year in Boston with Richard Platt and gave lecture recitals for New England audiences. From 1910 to 1912 she taught music at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. She then enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where she received teacher’s certificates in both piano and organ. She taught in the Preparatory Division at Peabody from 1913 to 1917 and subsequently became the executive secretary of the conservatory. She also contributed music criticism to the ...