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Robinson, David Moore

    Full Name: Robinson, David Moore

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1880

    Date Died: 1958

    Place Born: Auburn, Cayuga, NY, USA

    Place Died: Oxford, Amite, MS, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): ancient, Ancient Greek (culture or style), archaeology, ceramic ware (visual works), Classical, Greek pottery styles, pottery (visual works), and vase


    Classical art historian of Greek vases at Johns Hopkins University, 1905-1947; archaeologist. Robinson was a child prodigy who earned his A. B. from the University of Chicago by age eighteen. He studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (1901-1903) where he was a member of the Corinth excavation team. He also attended classes at the German universities of Halle (1902) and Berlin (1903-04). Robinson returned to Chicago, completing his Ph. D. in classics in 1904. Robinson taught a year at Illinois College before joining the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 1905 where he spent the rest of his career. He was appointed professor of Greek archaeology and epigraphy. In 1910 he again excavated at Sardis. He was a founder and first editor of the journal Art and Archaeology in 1914 (through 1918), likewise instrumental in the founding of the College Art Association’s Art Bulletin, acting as its editor, 1919-1921. Robinson was chosen to lead the University of Michigan excavations of Pisidian Antioch in 1924. He was Charles Eliot Norton Lecturer of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1924-25 and again in 1928-29. His discovery and excavation of the Olynthos site, 1928-1938 remained his greatest accomplishment. He cataloged the Sigmund Samuel collection of Greek vases at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1930. In the later 1930s he published his collection of Greek vases at the Baltimore Museum of Art as part of the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum series. Robinson was instrumental in bringing the two classical art historians George M. A. Hanfmann and his wife, Ilse Hanfmann to Johns Hopkins. George Hanfmann was granted a second Ph. D. from Hopkins in 1935 under Robinson for his assessment of the metal finds of the Olynthus excavations which Robinson and Hopkins were sponsoring. Robinson retired from Johns Hopkins in 1947, accepting a professorship at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, as professor of classics and archaeology. Moore was an expert on Greek vase painting writing a number of scholarly catalogs and contributing to the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. He assisted in building the vase collection of a number of museums and amassed his own personal collection, which was dispersed at the time of his death, the bulk of which to Harvard University.

    Selected Bibliography

    [complete bibliography:] Studies Presented to David Moore Robinson on his Seventieth Birthday. 2 vols. Saint Louis, MO: Washington University, 1951-53, vol 1, pp. [xxii]-xli; [dissertation:] Ancient Sinopea. University of Chicago, 1904, published, American Journal of Philology 27, no.2, pp. 125-153, and no. 3, pp. 245-279, 294-333; and Harcum, Cornelia G., and Iliffe, J. H. A Catalogue of the Greek Vases in the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, Toronto (Largely the Gift of Sigmund Samuel, Esq.). Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1930; and Freeman, Sarah Elizabeth, and McGehee, Mary W. The Robinson Collection, Baltimore, Md., Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. United States of America fasc. 4, 6-7. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1934-38; edited, Art and Archaeology: the Arts throughout the Ages. Baltimore, MD: 1914-1916; A Hoard of Silver Coins from Carystus. New York: American Numismatic Society, 1952; Architecture and Sculpture: Houses and Other Buildings. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Archaeology 9, Excavations at Olynthus part 2. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1930.


    “Robinson, David Moore.” Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 2, pp. 963-64; Hanfmann, G. M. A. The David Moore Robinson Bequest of Classical Art and Antiquities. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Museum of Art, 1961; [obituary:] Mylonas George E. “David Moore Robinson (1880-1958).” College Art Journal 18, no. 1 (Autumn, 1958): 76


    "Robinson, David Moore." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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