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Luckner, Kurt T.

    Full Name: Luckner, Kurt T.

    Other Names:

    • Kurt Thomas Luckner

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1945

    Date Died: 1995

    Place Born: Stafford Springs, Tolland, CT, USA

    Place Died: Toledo, Lucas, OH, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): Classical

    Career(s): curators


    Toledo Museum of Art curator, 1969-1995, classical art scholar. Luckner graduated in 1967 from Georgetown University. He worked for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washgington, D. C. (a collage of his hangs in the Rayburn House building). He received an M. A. from Stanford University in art history in 1969, working briefly for the Stanford University Art Museum. The same year, Luckner was hired by Toledo Museum of Art director Otto Wittmann, Jr., as assistant curator for classical art. He married Agathokleia “Kleia” Raubitschek, a nurse-midwife and daughter of Princeton’s classics professor Antony Raubitschek, in 1971. Luckner reinstalled the classical vase collection at Toledo and created the glass gallery, an important collection of historic glass founded by glass magnate Edward Drummond Libby. Luckner was promoted to Curator of Ancient Art in 1973 where he developed the African art gallery. An NEA grant allowed him to write the second fascicule of Toledo’s Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. His “Silver for the Gods, 800 years of Greek and Roman Silver,” in 1977 was one of two important shows he oversaw. As a curator, he purchased 70 classical antiquities for the collection, none of which was ever questioned in authenticity of provenance, including the Darius painter, Exekias, and Makron. In 1985 he launched an exhibit with Dietrich von Bothmer and Marion True titled, “The Amasis Painter and his World,” one of the most heralded classical art shows of his generation. Luckner was made Curator of Special Exhibitions at Toledo in 1986. Between 1992 and 1994 he worked as guest curator at the Art Institute of Chicago researching and reinstalling that institution’s classical collection which had heretofore been stored. He worked on a similar project for the J.B. Speed Museum in Louisville, KY. He suffered a heart attack slightly before his 50th birthday and died.Luckner was according to one Toledo newspaper account, “an ebullient, indefatigable promoter of all things ancient – and an especially riveting storyteller.” His purchase of gnathia for the museum lead that painter to be named “the Toledo Painter.”

    Selected Bibliography

    and Boulter, Cedric G. “The Toledo Museum of Art.” Corpus vasorum antiquorum. United States of America, fascicule 17 Toledo: Toledo Museum of Art, 1976.


    Vallongo, Sally. “Museum’s Exhibit of Classic Bronzes Tells Vivid Story of Civilization.” Blade (Toledo, OH) October 13, 1996, p.1; Duncan, Sally Anne. Otto Wittmann: Museum Man for all Seasons. Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 2001, p. 23; [obituary:] Kozloff, Arielle P. “Kurt Thomas Luckner, 1945-1995.” American Journal of Archaeology 100, no. 3 (July 1996):. 599-600.


    "Luckner, Kurt T.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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