Richard Bernheimer was Professor of art history at Bryn Mawr College from 1933 until his death in 1958. A native of Munich, Germany, he attended the University of Berlin and received his PhD from the University of Munich. As an authority on Renaissance and Baroque art, with related interests in mathematics, music, and theology, he authored the books Wild Men in the Middle Ages in 1952, Religion and Art in 1954 and Perspective, Space, and Depth, also in 1954, and The Nature of Representation: A Phenomenological Inquiry in 1961. He contributed articles to various art journals and held a Guggenheim fellowship from 1955 to 1956. To honor his memory, his son, Dr. Charles Bernheimer of the University of Pennsylvania, gave for display in Carpenter Library a fine early Durer print, "Coat of Arms with a Skull," which relates to his father's scholarship on wild men.
Phyllis Pray Bober served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Bryn Mawr College from 1973 to 1980 and held dual appointments in the Departments of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and History of Art. Before coming to Bryn Mawr College, she was chair of the Department of Fine Arts at New York University’s old Heights campus in the Bronx (1967-73). The project she started while studying archaeology at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, “The Census of Classical Works Known to the Renaissance,” remained her focus for more than forty years and grew into the standard resource for the subject. Professor Bober was also an expert on culinary history. In 1999 she published Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy, and a second volume was in progress when she died. She was renowned for preparing feasts based on ancient banquets in her own kitchen and providing seminars on historical cuisine. She served as president of the College Art Association from 1988 to 1990. She was also dedicated to social causes and served as a Democratic committeewoman in Ardmore and on the Board of Directors of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first school in the country to train women as doctors.
Rhys Carpenter, a Rhodes Scholar teaching Greek at Columbia University, was discovered by Bryn Mawr's president M. Carey Thomas. She persuaded him to expand his interests into archaeology and to join Bryn Mawr in 1913, where he headed the Department of Classical Archaeology, which offered the only undergraduate degree in classical archaeology in the country, until 1955. He was one of the world’s foremost authorities on classical archaeology and the author of many books and articles in numerous subjects, including poetry and travel. In 1969, he was the recipient of the Gold Medal awarded by the Archaeological Institute of America. Professor Carpenter held numerous other positions while at Bryn Mawr, including director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, professor at the American Academy in Rome, and he taught at Oberlin College, the University of California, the University of Pittsburgh, and Cambridge University. In 1919 he was appointed to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris; he continued to oppose the development of atomic bombs until his death in 1980 at the age of 90.
Fritz Janschka originally came to Bryn Mawr College in 1949 from Austria as an artist-in-residence through a one year exchange fellowship sponsored by the Catherwood Foundation. He remained at Bryn Mawr after the fellowship and now holds the title Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts and Fairbank Professor Emeritus of the Humanities. Considered a member of the “Vienna School of Fantastic Realism,” Janschka studied at the Akademie für Bildende Kunst under Sergius Pauser and Paris von Gutersloh in the 1940s. Janschka’s oeuvre comprises works in an array of media and styles, including watercolors, oils, sculptures, drawings, three-dimensional collages and etchings. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fort Worth Museum, museums in Zurich and Vienna and others hold art by Janschka. He is also represented in the Bryn Mawr College Collections by a small selection of prints and drawings, one painting, and a sculpture. In the 1970s a series of illustrations executed by Janschka and inspired by the James Joyce novels Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake toured Europe and the United States and were featured in an exhibition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Ulysses.
Georgiana Goddard King established the department of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College in 1913. She received a BA in English and a MA in philosophy and political science from Bryn Mawr College and began teaching art history at Bryn Mawr around 1910 at the request of President M. Carey Thomas. Although Professor King’s interests were wide-ranging and included Asian and modern art, her main passion was the art of Spain; Bryn Mawr thus became the first institution in the United States to offer graduate courses on Spanish art. During her tenure, many future art historians of note commenced their careers at Bryn Mawr, among them Richard Bernheimer, Joseph Curtis Sloane and Alexander Soper. Professor King’s publications include The Way of St. James, Sardinian Painting and the posthumously published Heart of Spain. Photographs of Spanish architecture taken by her friend Edith Lober for the latter book are in the College's Collections.
Machteld J. Mellink taught in the department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College for five decades. Born in Amsterdam, she received her doctorate from the University of Utrecht in 1943. After commencing her teaching career at Bryn Mawr in 1949, she served as chair of the archaeology department from 1955 until 1983. She received the Leslie Clark Chair in the Humanities in 1972. Professor Mellink was known internationally for her leadership in the archaeology of Turkey, and defended its cultural heritage against looting and illegal export. She excavated at Tarsus and Gordion in Turkey, and in 1963 became director of the excavation of the Early Bronze Age habitation and cemetery at Elmali-Karatas in southern Turkey. Her numerous publications include Kizilbel: An Archaic Painted Tomb Chamber in Northern Lycia, annual accounts of new archaeological discoveries in Turkey in the American Journal of Archaeology from 1955 to 1994, “Anatolian Chronology” in Chronologies in Old World Archaeology and various edited volumes. Professor Mellink’s accomplishments have been honored with an honorary LLD from the University of Pennsylvania, the Gold Medal from the Archaeological Institute of America in 1991, awards from the Ministry of Culture of Turkey and the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching from Bryn Mawr College.
Obituary in AIA
Charles Mitchell was Professor of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College from 1960 to 1980. He attended Oxford University and worked at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich prior to World War II and at the Warburg Institute from 1945 until his appointment to Bryn Mawr in 1960. While at Bryn Mawr, he chaired the department of History of Art for twelve years and significantly enlarged the graduate program. He was named Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities. After retiring from Bryn Mawr, he served as Barry Professor of Art History and Criticism at Bowdoin College, Clark Professor at the Clark Institute, Williams College and Kress Professor at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Professor Mitchell’s primary areas of study were Renaissance art and antiquarian scholarship and British art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His publications include an edition of Hogarth’s Peregrination, A Fifteenth-Century Italian Plutarch, Felice Feliciano Antiquarius and Pirro Ligorio’s Roman Antiquities, Studi Malatestiani (with others), and for many decades he collaborated with Edward W. Bodnar on translation and commentaries for the Journeys of Cyriacus of Ancona, a 15th century antiquarian.
Kyle M. Phillips, Jr. was Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College from 1962 to 1982. He earned an AB in Greek from Bowdoin College and a MA and PhD in classical archaeology from Princeton University. Professor Phillips’ excavations centered on Tuscany and his name has become synonymous with the Archaic Etruscan site, Poggio Civitate in Murlo (Tuscany). Professor Phillips’ publications include Case e palazzi d’Etruria, In the Hills of Tuscany: Recent Excavations at the Etruscan Site of Poggio Civitate and he co-authored with Ann Harnwell Ashmead the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum publication of Bryn Mawr College's Attic red-figured vases, and a catalogue of classical vases from the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway is Professor Emeritus of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. She began teaching at Bryn Mawr in 1957 and is herself an alumna of Bryn Mawr College (PhD 1958) and a student of Rhys Carpenter. Professor Ridgway also holds an Italian doctorate from the University of Messina. During her tenure at Bryn Mawr, she was named the Rhys Carpenter Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and served as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the American School of Classical Studies. Professor Ridgway’s numerous publications include The Severe Style in Greek Sculpture, The Archaic Style in Greek Sculpture, Hellenistic Sculpture, and Roman Copies of Greek Sculpture: The Problem of the Originals. She held the position of editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Archaeology for eight years. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1988.
Joseph Curtis Sloane was Chair of the History of Art department at Bryn Mawr College from 1938 to 1951. A specialist in nineteenth century French art, he received his BA, MFA and PhD from Princeton University. Professor Sloane left Bryn Mawr to establish a department of art history of national rank at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1958 he also became the director of their art gallery, now named after him, and was appointed as a trustee of the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1974. Professor Sloane’s publications include French Painting Between the Past and the Present, Paul Marc Joseph Chenavard: Artist of 1848 and articles in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Apollo and The Art Bulletin. He was a recipient of a Senior Fulbright Research Grant and the Alfred Hodder memorial fellowship in the humanities from Princeton University.
James E. Snyder was Professor of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College where he taught from 1964 until his retirement in 1989, earning the title of Fairbank Professor in the Humanities in 1985. He received his BA from the University of Colorado and his MFA and PhD from Princeton University. Before coming to Bryn Mawr, he taught at the University of Michigan and during his tenure at Bryn Mawr, he was a visiting lecturer in art history at Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University. Two of his publications have become classic texts: Medieval Art and Northern Renaissance Art. Professor Snyder received numerous postdoctoral fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from the College Art Association.
Alexander Coburn Soper III was Professor of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College from 1939 to 1941, when he left to serve in World War II, and from 1946 until his appointment as Professor of Oriental Art at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1960. Professor Soper received his BA from Hamilton College and his MFA and PhD from Princeton University. An expert on Asian art, he served as editor-in-chief of Artibus Asiae for more than thirty years. Professor Soper’s publications include The Evolution of Buddhist Architecture in Japan, The Art and Architecture of Japan with Robert Treat Paine, The Art and Architecture of China with Laurence Sickman and two volumes on early Chinese Buddhist art, Literary Evidence for Early Buddhist Art in China and Textual Evidence for the Secular Arts of China in the Period from Liu Sung through Sui (A.D. 420-618). He received a citation from the American Council of Learned Societies in 1961, an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Hamilton College and the Charles Lang Freer Medal.
Mary Hamilton Swindler was Professor of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. She introduced the complete major in archaeology to the College’s curriculum and founded the Ella Riegel Memorial Museum, with holdings of 7,000 antiquities now used for teaching and research. Professor Swindler received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University and her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College, where she began teaching in 1912. After her retirement from Bryn Mawr in 1949, Professor Swindler served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, as well as her alma mater in Indiana. She resumed teaching at Bryn Mawr in 1953. Professor Swindler’s important work, Ancient Painting: From the Earliest Times to the Period of Christian Art, was published in 1929. She served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Archaeology for fourteen years, was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of Great Britain and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. She received the achievement award of the American Association of University Women and was one of three scholars in America to be awarded $10,000 each by the American Council of Learned Societies for Outstanding Achievement.
Biographies by Amy Haavik-MacKinnon (Department of History of Art)