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Marquand, Allan

    Full Name: Marquand, Allan

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1853

    Date Died: 1924

    Place Born: New York, NY, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Career(s): educators


    Princeton Department of Art and Archaeology founder and professor of art history 1883-1924; scholar of the Della Robbia. Marquand was born to a family of New England wealth and status His father was Henry Gurdon Marquand (1819-1902), a wealthy banker and patron of arts (and early Metropolitan Museum of Art trustee), and Elizabeth Love Allen (Marquand). The younger Marquand was sent to St. Paul’s School and the Princeton University where he graduated in the class of 1874. He was Latin salutatorian, class president, an excellent athlete with awards in science. Marquand initially studied theology as a graduate student, both at Princeton Theological Seminary and the at Union Theological Seminary, where he received an M.A. He spent the academic year 1877-78 at the University of Berlin before returning to the newly founded Johns Hopkins University. At Hopkins he was a fellow in ethics, receiving an honorary Ph.D. in philosophy there in 1880. Princeton president James McCosh (1811-1894) recruited him to Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, in 1881 to lecture in logic and assist in Latin. Marquand’s father had been a generous contributor to the College and was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. McCosh, who for some time been adamant about founding a department of art for the college, appointed Marquand professor of the history of art. In 1883, a department of art was established through the lobbying of William Cowper Prime; Prime and Marquand were appointed its first professors. While on a trip to Rome in 1883, Marquand fell gravely ill with what McCosh called “Roman fever”, and for the rest of his life, Marquand found his physical activity limited. In 1884 Marquand began teaching classes under the new “art department” curriculum, lecturing privately on Greek art. In 1890 his appointment came under the department of Archaeology and Marquand was given the duties of directing of the Museum of Historic Art. Marquand hired Arthur Lincoln Frothingham, Jr., from Johns Hopkins in 1886, and the two revised and rewrote the Bilder Atlas of Moritz Carrière as the third volume of the Iconographic Encyclopedia in 1887. Marquand received an honorary LL.D. from Hobard College in 1888. He was an early contributor to the newly-launched American Journal of Archaeology and the History of the Fine Arts (1885) and member of its parent organization, the Archaeological Institute of America. In 1891 Marquand published an altarpiece by Andrea della Robbia in the AJA which his father had purchased in 1882. This began a long interest in the Robbia family accomplishment, resulting his several monographs and catalogs of their work. His subsequent trips to Italy were searches for other examples. He published his findings in another issue of the Journal (1893) as well as in Scribner’s Magazine (1893). Around 1890 Frothingham and Marquand developed major disagreements over the teaching of art, apparently from the overlap of each other’s interest in renaissance art. Frothingham was much more willing to introduce new topics for the history of art than Marquand. Frothingham taught his renaissance course (which was largely mediev al monuments) for the last time in 1892-93. Frothingham and Marquand wrote one of the first college textbooks for art in 1896, known as A Textbook of the History of Sculpture. In 1896, too, he married Eleanor Cross; he was forty-three. They traveled to Rome where he served as annual professor at the American School of Classical Studies (now the American Academy in Rome). Upon his return, he found Frothingham teaching in areas he disapproved, and stopped paying him mid-semester (which Marquand had full authority to do). Princeton President Francis Landly Patton found money to complete Frothingham’s semester, but Frothingham was moved to another department to avoid further issues with Marquand. In 1909, Marquand’s first independent book, Greek Architecture, appeared. The need for scholarly art-historical books in English led him to found and finance the Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology. His own catalog of the Robbia holdings in the United States, 1912, was among that series. Around 1910 he met the art critic Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., in Italy and convinced the former literature professor to join his new Department of Art and Archaeology in 1910. Marquand’s research slowed during World War I in order to teach courses left behind by faculty now in military service. His study of heraldry in the Robbia appeared in 1919, followed by Giovanni della Robbia in 1920, Benedetto and Santi Buglioni in 1921, and Andrea della Robbia and His Atelier in 1922. Marquand retired that year and was succeeded by Charles Rufus Morey. Marquand’s final catalog, The Brothers of Giovanni della Robbia, was nearly complete when he died in a hospital in New York City. The book was completed by Mather and others in 1928. He donated the spectacular Christ before Pilate by Hieronymous Bosch to the Princeton Art Museum.

    Marquand had an ingenious and diverse mind; his logic machine, invented while at Johns Hopkins, is part of the historical collections at Princeton University. He anonymously funded travel fellowships of the Archaeological Institute of America. His doctoral students included Howard Crosby Butler and Clarence WardErwin Panofsky cited Marquand’s writings on the Della Robbia as one of serveral “very good art-historical books” with which European scholars such as himself were familiar before World War II.

    Selected Bibliography

    and Frothingham, Arthur L. A Text-book of the History of Sculpture. New York: Longmans, Green, 1896; Greek Architecture. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909; Della Robbias in America. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology 1. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1912; Benedetto and Santi Buglioni. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology 9. Princeton: Princeton University Press,1921; Andrea della Robbia and his Atelier. 2 vols. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology 11. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1922; The Brothers of Giovanni della Robbia: Fra Mattia, Luca, Girolamo, Fra Ambrogio. Princeton Monographs in Art and Archaeology 13. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1928.


    Mather, Frank Jewett. “Marquand, Allan.” Dictionary of American Biography. New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1928-1936; Panofsky, Erwin. “The History of Art.” in The Cultural Migration: The European Scholar in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953, pp. 86-87, mentioned; Lavin, Marilyn Aronberg. The Eye of the Tiger: The Founding and Development of the Department of Art and Archaeology, 1883-1923, Princeton University. Princeton, NJ: Department of Art and Archaeology and Art Museum, 1983, pp. 8-9.


    "Marquand, Allan." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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