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Dinsmoor, William B., Jr.

    Full Name: Dinsmoor, William B., Jr.

    Other Names:

    • William Bell Dinsmoor Jr.

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1923

    Date Died: 1988

    Place Born: New York, NY, USA

    Place Died: Athens, Region of Attica, Greece

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): archaeology, architecture (object genre), Classical, and sculpture (visual works)


    Classical archaeologist and architectural historian, son of William Bell Dinsmoor, Sr. Dinsmoor was born to William Bell Dinsmoor and Zillah F. Pierce (Dinsmoor,1886-1960). His father was an eminent classical era architectural historian. The younger Dinsmoor attended Phillips Exeter Academy and then Columbia University, taking time out for active service in the military during World War II. After service in Indian and China, he returned to Columbia where he received a B.A. in modern languages in 1947. Like his father, he trained in practicing architecture, achieving a Bachelor’s (1947) and Master’s (1951). Moving to El Paso, Texas, Dinsmoor ran a small business as an architect and engineer. Dinsmoor returned to Greece to assist Lucy Taxis Shoe Meritt (1906-2003) with her survey of Greek architectural moulding and Carl W. Blegen (1887-1971) on his books on Troy and Pylos. Dinsmoor’s archeological experience came working with Oscar Broneer, then publishing his find of the temple of Poseidon in Athens. He was the 1962-63 Olivia James Fellow at the Archaeological Institute of America. In 1966 Dinsmoor was appointed Architect for the Agora archeological excavations, a position which he held until his death. In 1971 Dinsmoor began publishing his own research, mostly on Athenian architecture, but also on Corfu and Stobi. He was edited a work of his father’s, the Propylaia of Athena, at the time of his death. A work on Athena Sounias, with Homer Thompson (1906-2000), also failed to appear in his lifetime, though Thompson had planned to publish it after Dinsmoor’s death. Dinsmoor’s research established the configuration of the entrance way before the Propylaia, a work he published in The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, volume one, The Predecessors (1980).

    Selected Bibliography

    The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1980; and Camp, John McKesson. Ancient Athenian Building Methods. Athens: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1984. Our Organization: Mission & history


    [obituaries:] Camp, John McKesson. American Journal of Archaeology 93 (April 1989): 233-4; American School of Classical Studies at Athens Newsletter no.22 (Fall1988):14.


    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen


    Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen. "Dinsmoor, William B., Jr.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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