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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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Ashbery, John Lawrence (28 July 1927–3 Sept. 2017), poet, translator and art critic, was born in Rochester, New York the son of Chester Ashbery, a farmer, and Helen Lawrence, a biology teacher who was the daughter of a University of Rochester physics professor. Ashbery grew up on a fruit farm in Sodus, New York near Lake Ontario but often spent time with his maternal grandparents in their large Rochester home. He attended small rural schools until a friend of his mother’s put up the money for the fifteen-year-old to finish high school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. Arriving in September ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Pepper, Stephen C. (29 April 1891–01 May 1972), philosopher and aesthetician, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Charles Hovey Pepper, an artist, and Frances Coburn. The family lived in Paris for six years, until 1899, when they moved to Concord, Massachusetts. In 1903, shortly before his twelfth birthday, Pepper traveled with his family to Japan. On visits to art galleries his father would ask him which pictures he liked best. Then they would compare notes. As Pepper noted later, it “was a wonderful education” for a future aesthetician, and “these trips through galleries were as if we were two boys on a fishing trip.”...

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Perkins, Charles Callahan (01 March 1823–25 August 1886), art critic, philanthropist, and administrator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of James Perkins, a wealthy and generous merchant, and Eliza Greene Callahan. After early schooling in Boston and attendance at boarding schools in nearby Cambridge and in Burlington, New Jersey, Perkins entered Harvard. He disliked the curriculum there but graduated in 1843....

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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 ...