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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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Jarves, James Jackson (20 August 1818–28 June 1888), journalist, diplomat, and art connoisseur, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Deming Jarves, the inventor of Sandwich glass, and Anna Smith Stutson. Jarves received some formal education at Chauncy Hall School in Boston and enhanced his knowledge by extensive reading. At fifteen he was bedridden by what was diagnosed as a “rush of blood to the head” that left him temporarily blind and unable to continue at school. Gradually he improved but when the doctors recommended that he live in a milder climate than New England he had to forgo a Harvard education....

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Kocher, A. Lawrence (24 July 1885–06 June 1969), architect, editor, and scholar of American colonial architecture, was born Alfred Lawrence Kocher in San Jose, California, the son of Rudolph Kocher, a Swiss-born jeweler and watchmaker, and Anna (maiden name unknown). He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1909 and his M.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1916. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1909 to 1912. In 1910 he married Amy Agnes Morder. She died of cancer prior to 1932, the year of his marriage to Margaret Taylor. He had two children....

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Laffan, William Mackay (22 January 1848–19 November 1909), newspaper editor, publisher, and art connoisseur, was born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Michael Laffan and Ellen Sarah FitzGibbon. He attended Trinity College of Dublin University and St. Cecilia’s School of Medicine. He did not graduate from either institution. Laffan became adept at modeling in clay, etching, and painting in oils and watercolors and was an artist for the Pathological Society of Dublin....

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McBride, Henry (25 July 1867–31 March 1962), art critic and writer, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Little is known about his early life except that his parents were Quakers and that McBride’s first job after graduating from high school was writing and illustrating seed catalogs for a local nursery. By 1887 he had saved $200 and moved to New York City to study art. He attended the Artists’ and Artisans’ Institute for four years under iconoclast John Ward Stimson, then continued his studies at the Art Students League, eventually teaching at both organizations....

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Wright, Willard Huntington (15 October 1888–11 April 1939), editor, novelist, and critic, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, the son of Archibald Davenport Wright, a hotel proprietor, and Annie Van Vranken. In 1900 the Wrights moved to Santa Monica, California, a crucial move, for a good part of Wright’s early professional development occurred in southern California. Both Wright and his brother Stanton were regarded as precocious by their parents, and both gravitated toward the arts. Stanton Wright early settled on a painting career, but Willard Wright vacillated, experimenting with painting and music before concentrating on literature....