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Plummer, John H.

    Full Name: Plummer, John H.

    Other Names:

    • John H. Plummer

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1919

    Place Born: Rochester, Olmsted, MN, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): Medieval (European)


    Senior Research fellow, Morgan Library; medieval manuscripts specialist. Plummer received his A.B. from Carleton College, Northfield, MN. He entered Columbia University in 1944, studying medieval art under Meyer Schapiro. As a graduate student, he taught art history courses. His lectures sparked the interest of Lucy Freeman Sandler to be a manuscripts scholar. He received his Ph.D. in 1953 with a dissertation on a thirteenth-century English Illuminated Bible. Plummer was hired a Research associate at the Morgan Library in 1955, rising to curator for medieval and renaissance the following year. He taught at Barnard College 1952-1956. Among Plummer discoveries at the Morgan was the two halves of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. In 1963 the Morgan bought an “Hours of Catherine of Cleves” (MS M.917), a Utrecht manuscript of about 1440. Plummer’s study of the codex convinced him it was half of an elborately re-arranged single codex, the other portion belonging to a private collector, Alistair Bradley Martin. In 1964 joined Columbia University as adjunct professor, publishing a facsimile of the book of hours in 1966. The same year he was named resesarch fellow for art at the Morgan. The Morgan purchased Martin’s half of the Book of Hours (it became MS M.945) in 1970. He was named emeritus.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] The Lothian Morgan Bible: A Study in English Illumination of the Early Thirteen Century. Columbia University, 1953; [commentary] The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. New York: G. Braziller, 1966;


    Who Was Who in American Art. 400 years of Artists in America. 2nd ed. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999, p. 2624; Smith, Kathryn A. “Lucy Freeman Sandler: An Appreciation.” in Smith, Kathryn A., and Krinsky, Carol Herselle, eds. Tributes to Lucy Freeman Sandler: Studies in Illuminated Manuscripts. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2007, p. 9.


    "Plummer, John H.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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