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Chase, George Henry

    Image Credit: Wikipedia

    Full Name: Chase, George Henry

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1874

    Date Died: 1952

    Place Born: Lynn, Essex, MA, USA

    Place Died: Cambridge, Middlesex, MA, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): ancient, archaeology, Classical, and sculpture (visual works)

    Career(s): excavators


    Harvard University Professor of classical art (primarily sculpture); principal excavator at the Argive Heraeum. Chase graduated from Harvard University class of 1896. He spent two years at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens where he excavated the Argive Heraeum, being awarded an 1897 A. M. from Harvard in the process. He continued working on his Ph.D. at Harvard, spending the 1900-01 year as a master of St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. In 1900 he was awarded his Ph.D. from Harvard with a dissertation on Greek Shield iconography. He joined the faculty at Harvard as a lecturer in 1901, moving to assistant professor in 1906. In 1908 he married Freedrica Mark of Cambridge, MA; the same year he cataloged the James Loeb collection of classical (Arrentine) pottery with Loeb. He was associated with the excavations as Sardis in 1914. He was appointed the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology in 1916. As a teacher, Chase was known as a fair but extremely harsh grader. The lectures he delivered in 1919 as a course offered by the Lowell Institute in Boston were published as Greek and Roman Sculpture in American Collections (1924). The following year he and Chandler R. Post published their History of Sculpture, for many years a stable in art history classes. George M. A. Hanfmann assumed his publications of Lydian pottery from the Sardis excavations after Hanfmann became established at Harvard. In 1925 Chase became Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences until 1939 when he became Dean of the University, the first to hold that newly created office. In this capacity, he acted as president of the College when Harvard President James Bryant Conant (1893-1978) was serving in World War II and afterward when Conant served as U. S. high commissioner for western Germany. Chase issued fascicule 8 in the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (series) for the Fogg Museum (Galletin Collection). In 1945 he was names professor emeritus. Chase assumed the position of Acting Curator of Classical Art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, replacing the late Lacey D. Caskey. He wrote the first guide book to the Boston MFA’s Classical Collection (1950). He died suddenly at home at age 77.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] The Shield Devices of the Greeks. Harvard, 1900, published in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 13: 61-127; Catalogue of Arretine Pottery. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916; Greek and Roman Sculpture in American Collections. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1924; and Post, Chandler Rathfon. A History of Sculpture. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1925; and Loeb, James. The Loeb Collection of Arretine Pottery. New York: Fogg Museum of Art, 1908; Fogg Museum and Gallatin Collections. Corpus vasorum antiquorum. United States of America. fasicule 8.


    Index IV “Publications.” Beazley, John D. Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters. 2nd ed. vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963 [Chase’s name appears out of alphabetical order in the ARV]; [obituaries:] S[tephen] B. L[uce]. American Journal of Archaeology 56 (July 1952): 180-181; “Dr. George Chase of Harvard Dies: University’s First Dean, Acting President in World War II, Retired From Staff in ’45.” New York Times February 4, 1952, p. 17.


    • Papers of George Henry Chase, 1926-1951 (inclusive)., Harvard University.

    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen


    Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen. "Chase, George Henry." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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