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Francke, Kuno

    Image Credit: Wikipedia

    Full Name: Francke, Kuno

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1855

    Date Died: 1931

    Place Born: Kiel, Schleswig Holstein, Germany

    Place Died: Cambridge, Middlesex, MA, USA

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Career(s): curators


    Harvard professor and first curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Francke took his Ph.D. in Munich in 1878 in medieval folklore and poetry. A friendship with Ephraim Emerton in Berlin in 1875 led to a letter of introduction to Harvard president Charles W. Eliot. He came to Harvard in 1884 as an instructor, assistant professor 1887 and professor in 1896. Throughout his career, Francke remained a literary historian. Between 1884 and 1916 he delivered university course lectures on German literature, art and thought. In 1903 he accepted the post of curator of the new Germanic Museum of the University, later to be renamed the Busch-Reisinger. He remained at that post until 1929. As curator, he focused much of his attention on procuring reproductions of German sculpture, as opposed to originals, in an effort to represent a complete view of German art development. The Kuno Francke Professorship of German Art and Culture, established at his retirement, is named for him.

    Selected Bibliography

    Glimpses of Modern German Culture. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1898;. Mantegna’s Triumph of Caesar in the Second Part of Faust. Boston: Harvard University Modern Language Department, 1892.


    Busch-Reisinger Museum: History and Holdings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Art Museums, 1991, pp. 26-9.


    "Francke, Kuno." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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