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Becker, Marion Rombauer (1903-1976), cookbook writer, arts administrator, and conservationist  

Anne Mendelson

Becker, Marion Rombauer (02 January 1903–28 December 1976), cookbook writer, arts administrator, and conservationist, was born Marion Julia Rombauer in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Edgar Roderick Rombauer, a lawyer, and Irma Louise von Starkloff, a cookbook writer. Her outlook and interests were strongly shaped by a freethinking, reform-minded family. She studied art history and French at Vassar College and spent her junior year at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving a B.A. from Vassar in 1925. Hoping to find a career in modern dance or art education, she began teaching in 1929 in the art department of John Burroughs School, an experimental school in Clayton, Missouri....


Cover Frick, Helen Clay (September 3, 1888–November 9, 1984)

Frick, Helen Clay (September 3, 1888–November 9, 1984)  

Corp author Bain News Service


Portrait of Helen Frick, between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920 by Bain News Service

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 [LC-B2- 5094-8]


Frick, Helen Clay (3 Sept. 1888–9 Nov. 1984), philanthropist and art historian  

Melanie Linn Gutowski

Frick, Helen Clay (3 Sept. 1888–9 Nov. 1984), philanthropist and art historian, was born Helen Childs Frick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third child of Henry Clay Frick and Adelaide Howard Childs Frick. Her upbringing was one of extraordinary privilege as her father, the controversial industrialist and art collector, showered his family with every luxury. Little of her father’s public reputation as a ruthless businessman and strike breaker would touch her idyllic childhood at Clayton, the family home. Helen was intensely devoted to her father, seen especially in her decision around age ten to change her given middle name to his own....


Mumford, Lewis (1895-1990), urban historian and cultural critic  

Robert Casillo

Mumford, Lewis (09 October 1895–26 January 1990), urban historian and cultural critic, was born in Flushing, New York, the illegitimate son of Lewis Charles Mack, a Jewish businessman from New Jersey, and Elvina Conradina Baron Mumford, a German Protestant. Mumford never knew his father, learning his identity only in 1942. He grew up in a lower middle-class environment in Manhattan and in 1912 graduated from Stuyvesant High School, where he was chiefly interested in science and technology. New York’s museums and libraries contributed much to his education. Beginning in 1912 Mumford studied at City College, Columbia University, New York University, and the New School for Social Research. He earned enough credits for a degree but never graduated. Between 1914 and 1918 Mumford suffered from what he then regarded as incipient tuberculosis but which he later believed to have been a thyroid problem. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1918 to 1919. Having begun his career as a freelance writer, Mumford joined the staff of ...


Norton, Charles Eliot (1827-1908), scholar and critic  

James Turner

Norton, Charles Eliot (16 November 1827–21 October 1908), scholar and critic, was born at “Shady Hill,” his family’s estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His parents were Andrews Norton, biblical scholar and man of letters, and Catharine Eliot, daughter of a wealthy Boston merchant. Charles grew up in an academic household frequented by ...


Perkins, Charles Callahan (1823-1886), art critic, philanthropist, and administrator  

Robert L. Gale

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....


Zimbalist, Mary Louise Curtis Bok (1876-1970), founder and president of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, and philanthropist  

Alfred Mann

Zimbalist, Mary Louise Curtis Bok (06 August 1876–04 January 1970), founder and president of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, and philanthropist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Cyrus H. K. Curtis and Louisa Knapp. When she was an infant the family moved to Philadelphia, where her father became an eminently successful publisher of newspapers and periodicals. Her parents were gifted musical amateurs, and music became one of her principal subjects when she received her formal education at the Ogontz School for Young Ladies in Abington, Pennsylvania—a school to which she contributed generously in later years. Her studies in piano and music theory were ably supervised by her mother, with whom she began extensive travels to Europe at the age of thirteen. In 1893 she became engaged to ...