Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Maloney, Stephanie


Warren, Edward Perry, 1860-1928; Art in universities and colleges--United States; Art museums--United States; Art--History--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States; Archaeology--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States; Art--Collectors and collecting--United States


This dissertation assesses the influence of Edward Perry Warren (1860- 1928) on the development of collegiate collections of Greek and Roman art and the rise of art history and archaeology in elite academic institutions in the United States. It employs archival research to explore Warren's motivations for acquiring thousands of antiquities which he sold or gave to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and six collegiate museums and study collections. Organized into six chapters, this multidisciplinary dissertation describes Warren's roles at these institutions. It highlights antiquities that have figured prominently in scholarship and that demonstrate the range and variety of his collecting tastes. In the first three chapters, the dissertation places Warren's collecting in light of its social, economic, intellectual, and cultural backdrop and considers how Warren both reflects and diverges from his family's values. It also weighs how Warren's sexuality impacted his collecting tastes and resulted in the establishment of his antiquities emporium in Lewes, England. It chronicles his partnership with John Marshall, Edward Robinson, and John Davidson Beazley and ascertains what is known about his relationships with those who established the classical collections at Harvard, Bowdoin, the University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr, the University of Chicago, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Chapters 4,5, and 6 function as a selective catalogue of Warren's antiquities, organized by medium. Chapter 4 is devoted to a discussion of how the Greek vases and other ceramic antiquities he obtained for American collections have been pivotal in developing the American scholarship on these objects. Chapter 5 considers the impact of Warren's collecting on Greek numismatics as well as on ancient gems, jewelry, ivory, and glass. Chapter 6 features bronze and stone antiquities that illustrate his connoisseurial acumen. This dissertation argues that the collecting of Edward Perry Warren is essential to understanding the rise of art history and archaeology as academic disciplines in the United States. Antiquities that he obtained for American collections continue to figure prominently in the scholarship and exhibitions focusing on Greek and Roman material culture and social history.