Skip to content

Dohan, Edith Hayward Hall

    Full Name: Dohan, Edith Hayward Hall

    Other Names:

    • née Edith Hayward Hall

    Gender: female

    Date Born: 1877

    Date Died: 1943

    Place Born: New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA

    Place Died: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): ancient, Classical, and Etruscan (culture or style)


    American scholar of Etruscan art. Hall graduated from Smith College in 1899 and attended graduate school at Bryn Mawr. In 1903 received a fellowship via Bryn Mawr to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. At the School, she was invited to participate on the expedition to Gournia, part of the “Wells-Houston-Cramp Expeditions” (1901-1904) led by the archaeologist Harriet Boyd Hawes (1871-1945). After returning to Bryn Mawr in 1905, she wrote her dissertation on the decorative bronze-age art of Crete in 1908. She was hired at Mount Holyoke College in the same year. Hall worked as a field archaeologist for the University of Pennsylvania Museum at the site at Sphoungaras, 1910, and led the excavation at Vrokastro, 1910, 1912. She left Mount Holyoke to accept an assistant curator position at the University museum in 1912. In 1915 she married Joseph Dohan. Through her work in the museum’s collection, she gained an interest in the Italian materials, including the Etruscan and Faliscan objects, which were in disarray at the time. She was appointed associate curator in 1920, lecturing at Bryn Mawr 1923, 1924, and 1930. In 1942 she was appointed curator of the Mediterranean section. Shortly before her death, she completed reconstructing twenty-nine groups from which tomb objects had been removed. Her exhibition, Italic Tomb Groups in the University Museum, 1942, remains an important study for Etruscan archaeology and art history. She died of a heart attack in her office at age 65.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] The Decorative Art of Crete in the Bronze Age. Ph.D., Bryn Mawr, 1908; Excavations in Eastern Crete: Sphoungaras. Philadelphia: University Museum, 1912; Excavations in Eastern Crete: Vrokastro. Philadelphia: University Museum, 1914; Italic Tomb-Groups in the University Museum. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1942; and Hawes, Harriet Boyd, and Williams, Blanche E. Wheeler, and Seager, Richard B. Gournia, Vasiliki and Other Prehistoric Sites on the Isthmus of Hierapetra, Crete: Excavactions of the Wells-Houston-Cramp Expedition 1901, 1903, 1904. Philadelphia: The American Exploration Society, Free Museum of Science and Art, 1908.


    “Dohan, Edith Hayward Hall.” Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 365-66; Morrow, Katherine Dohan. “Edith Hayward Hall Dohan, 1879-1943.” in, Cohen, Getzel M., and Joukowsky, Martha. eds. Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004, pp. 274-297; [obituary:] “Dr. Edit Dohan, Curator at Museum at University of Pennsylvania Dies” New York Times July 15, 1943, p. 21


    Contributors: Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen


    Emily Crockett and Lee Sorensen. "Dohan, Edith Hayward Hall." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: