On the Trail of the “German Model”: ASCSA and DAI, 1881-1918Posted: August 10, 2020 Filed under: Archaeology, Archival Research, Biography, History of Archaeology, Women's Studies | Tags: Adolf Wilhelm, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Eugene P. Andrews, Georg Karo, German Archaeological Institute Athens, Germanophilia, Nellie M. Reed, Ruth Emerson Fletcher, Theodore W. Heermance, Wilhelm Dörpfeld 13 Comments
Founded in 1881, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (hereafter ASCSA or the School) was the third foreign archaeological school to be established in Greece and followed the French and German models. For the first thirty years, the activities of the American School were closely intertwined with those of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens (DAI or German Institute hereafter) and the Austrian Archaeological Institute of Athens (Austrian Institute or Station hereafter).
Eloquent testimony to their informal relationship is found in the ASCSA Annual Reports (AR) from 1887 onwards, where the directors of the American School repeatedly extended their profound gratitude to Wilhelm Dӧrpfeld, Director of the German Institute (1887-1912), Paul Wolters, Second Secretary of the German Institute (1887-1900), and Adolf Wilhelm, Secretary of the Austrian Institute (1898-1905), for allowing American students to attend their weekly seminars and archaeological excursions. Only occasionally, would the ASCSA similarly express its gratitude to a French or British colleague. In fact, the ASCSA relied so heavily on the German Institute that it delayed developing an independent academic program of its own until Dӧrpfeld stopped offering his lectures and tours in 1908.
In order to reconstruct the early decades of the School’s history and its relationship to the German Institute, in addition to the Annual Reports, I have also relied on a second type of primary source: personal correspondence and diaries. Both are rare, however. Unlike official documents that have a greater chance of survival (sometimes in more than one copy) the preservation of family correspondence is a matter of luck. Of the 200 men and women who attended the School’s academic program from 1881 to 1918, the outgoing letters of fewer than a dozen members have survived, and of those only the letters of few have found their way back to the School’s Archives.
By nature, each type of source provides the researcher with different kinds of information, even if both sources refer to the same people or events. Official reports are formal and, to a certain extent, sanitized documents that deliver the governing body’s mindset. I, personally, find private correspondence a more insightful source, although it can be subjective and overstated; nevertheless, it is the best thing that a historian has at his/her disposal for reconstructing the past because its testimonies offer contemporary perspectives. At a time when cell phones, text messages, and social media were not available, a letter was the only way for reporting one’s activities and also for expressing one’s feelings. Glimpses, for example, at the private correspondence of Nellie M. Reed, student of the School in 1895-1896, reveal a continuous stream of informal American-German gatherings during that year, otherwise undocumented in the Annual Reports.
In 2016, I was invited to participate in a conference that explored the early history of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens. I used that event as an opportunity to study and re-write the “German chapter” in the history of the American School. The narrative explores the catalysts that brought these two groups together and asks: Was it simply the vibrant and charismatic personality of Dӧrpfeld, who for three decades dominated the archaeological community of Athens, that was responsible for the rapprochement of the two institutions in the closing decades of the 19th century, or did the School’s close ties with the German and Austrian institutes reflect a larger educational trend that prevailed in American academic circles in the second half of the 19th century?
Wilhelm Dӧrpfeld and Adolf Wilhelm in the Annual Reports
For many years the directors of the American School expressed their gratitude to Dӧrpfeld and Wilhelm for allowing the School’s students to attend their weekly lectures, as well as participate in the archaeological excursions that Dӧrpfeld led twice a year. “He began his lectures on Saturday, the 10th of last October, and invited us to attend that and all his later lectures on every Saturday through the autumn and winter. I need not state how precious was this privilege, and how stimulating and suggestive we have found his lectures” acknowledged Director Charles Waldstein in his AR for 1891-1892. Ten years later, Director Rufus B. Richardson, at the end of his ten-year directorship at the American School thanked Dӧrpfeld and Wilhelm, noting that “these eminent specialists have by their kindness and generosity become, for all practical purposes, members of our faculty.” More than 15 years later, another director, Bert Hodge Hill would state in his Annual Report for 1908-1909:
“To hear him on Saturday afternoons has for so long been one of the great advantages of a student’s residence in Athens that it is difficult to conceive of the year’s work without his lectures. We shall wait long for another lecturer who can speak on the subject of Athenian topography with the authority, lucidity, and charm of Prof. Dӧrpfeld.”
The American students were also required to attend the lectures of Adolf Wilhelm (1864-1950) of the Austrian Archaeological Station at the Epigraphical Museum. “… and [he] invited our students to join him (along with several of the German students). This they did, and thus enjoyed the guidance of a scholar who has few equals in reading and explaining inscriptions,” reported Director Rufus B. Richardson in 1895. In fact, the Annual Professors of the American School would frequently give up their lectures at the Epigraphical Museum and surrender the field to Dr. Wilhelm “who was doing it better than I could hope to do” admitted J. R. S. Sterrett, one of the two visiting professors in 1896-1897. Four years later, in 1900-1901, the American students formed the largest part of Dr. Wilhelm’s class.
In addition to attending Dӧrpfeld’s Saturday talks and Wilhelm’s epigraphy courses, the students of the American School also had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Paul Wolters, the Deputy Secretary of the German Institute, lecturing on sculpture every other Wednesday (ASCSA Archives, Annual Report 1895-96, 22). Wolters (1858-1936) was later appointed professor of archaeology at the University of Würzburg (1900-1908), and in 1908 he succeeded Adolf Furtwängler at the University of Munich.
“A Prophet Piercing the Future”: Private Accounts of Wilhelm Dӧrpfeld
The information one gets about Dӧrpfeld and the others from the Annual Reports reveals the School’s high regard both for their generosity to the students and the quality of these lectures. From the private letters, we glean something very different, however. We catch valuable glimpses of their personalities and physical appearance.
I was blown away by the amount of detail that went into one’s letters when distance was real and not virtual, photography was expensive, and indoor photography a process with unreliable results. These letters are a good source of information for studying the social fabric, interaction, and shifting relations among the members of the archaeological community in Athens, but only part of them has so far been transcribed. Unfortunately, reading, transcribing, and editing personal letters or diaries is a laborious and time-consuming task, and one that is usually not rewarded with instant gratification.
Nellie Marie Reed (1872-1957), a graduate of Cornell University, attended the ASCSA in 1895-1896. Twice a week she wrote long letters to her mother and brother about her life in Athens. It was her first time away from home, and she wanted to share with her family every moment of her Greek experience. In her case, it might well be said that each of her descriptions is worth a thousand images.
“Yesterday afternoon we all went to Dr. Dӧrpfeld’s lecture which lasted from 2-5 on the spot… He speaks exquisite German, clearly and slowly, and I was more than happy to be able to understand everything, though of course it was hard work and very tiring. He is a fine man, about medium height, a rather light moustache, an exceedingly pleasant face, and exceptionally beautiful hands” wrote Nellie to her mother on November 10, 1895.
No image could have portrayed Dӧrpfeld’s commanding presence better than another of her descriptions after having attended the Open Meeting of the German Institute: “He simply demolishes with one blow the opponents who hold different views and proves the strength of his own. He is magnificent in his simplicity and modesty” (Reed to her family, March 1, 1896). And when she writes to her mother that he “sounded like a prophet piercing the future,” I suspect that she was repeating verbatim the comments of some senior archaeologist (Reed to her family, December 15, 1895). Little did she know that many of Dӧrpfeld’s theories would eventually fail the test of time.
Simple, charming, and genius are three characterizations of Dӧrpfeld that are repeated in people’s private correspondence. Four years later, in 1899, a young Ida C. Thallon (she would later marry the School’s Director Bert Hodge Hill) would also describe Dӧrpfeld as “the loveliest, most charming man imaginable, as simple and unaffected as possible and you would never think from his manner that he is about the biggest celebrity in his line” (ASCSA Archives, Ida Thallon Hill Papers, box 3, folder 3, Thallon to her mother, November 6-7, 1899).
It is also worth sharing the account of Theodore W. Heermance (1872-1905), who had attended Dӧrpfeld’s lectures first as a student, in 1894-1896, and almost a decade later, as a peer when he became Director of the American School (1903-1905). We do not have any descriptions from his student years but the one from 1903 is telling enough. After attending one of Dӧrpfeld’s lectures on the Old Athena temple, Heermance, still full of respect for the master, remarked in one of his letters:
“He did not finish, though he talked over 2 ½ hours. It was a masterly presentation of his argument, and yet I now count myself among his opponents having been converted from being an adherent a year ago… I was hoping he would have some new arguments…, but there was nothing he said yesterday which he has not already printed” (ASCSA Archives, Theodore W. Heermance Papers, box 2, folder 9, Heermance to his mother, January 18, 1903 (letter #27).
Heermance belonged to a new generation of American archaeologists ready to take the torch from Dӧrpfeld. However, when he heard that Dӧrpfeld considered leaving Athens because he had been offered a position in the Berlin Museum, he admitted to his mother: “Athens without D. would hardly seem the same place. Everything has revolved about him as a center for so long” (ASCSA Archives, Theodore W. Heermance Papers, box 2, folder 9, Heermance to his mother, February 15, 1903 (letter #31).
Heermance would not live long enough -he died prematurely from typhoid fever in 1905- to see the “darling” of the American archaeological community falling off the pedestal after his retirement because of his growing intolerance to the views of younger scholars –such as William Bell Dinsmoor and their famed debate over the different phases of the Parthenon.
The Peloponnesian and Island Trips: Official and Private Accounts
Today the American School is famous for its vigorous on-site academic program which includes five archaeological excursions throughout Greece and one or two outside the country. What is not widely known is that the School did not really develop its independent academic program until the first decade of the 20th century, after Dӧrpfeld retired from lecturing in 1908. Although the directors of the School would lead small bike trips in the Greek countryside, the real excitement for the American students was to participate in Dӧrpfeld’s Peloponnesian tour and the more famous “Inselreise.”
“Nearly every member of the School proposes to share in part the tour conducted by him through Peloponnesus, and to take the whole of his Island Tour. As these tours occupy about a month, it may seem like breaking up the School, but it would be most unwise, in my judgment, to deter our students in any way from sharing this great privilege… I am most happy to have then all go, and shall go with them,” wrote director Richardson in his AR for 1894-1895.
What is also not mentioned in the official reports but comes up in the private letters is that women were discouraged by Dӧrpfeld from participating in the Peloponnesian trip because of its rough conditions which included sleeping in tents or poorly kept inns, but were encouraged to join the island trip because it offered boat cabins and hot meals.
Ruth Emerson and Nellie Reed were among the 62 participants in the “Inselreise” of 1896. Ruth Emerson’s hand-drawn itinerary complements Nellie Reed’s account of the trip. From Nellie’s descriptions, one gathers that the island trip attracted most of the archaeological and diplomatic community of Athens (although the French archaeologists almost never joined any of Dӧrpfeld’s trips), as well as members of the newly founded American School of Classical Studies in Rome. Even “Mr. Schliemann’s son Agamemnon took the trip” noted Nellie in one of her letters (Reed to her family, May 15, 1896). We are very lucky to have these letters for without them we would have not known the extent, frequency, and composition of some of the American-German/Austrian social gatherings. Attracting a younger crowd, these so-called “Kneipe evenings,” frequently included Hans von Fritze, Alfred Schiff, and Wilhelm Wilberg (1872-1956), with whom Nellie appeared to have fallen in love (ASCSA Archives, Nellie M. Reed Papers, box 1, Reed to her family, May 16, 1896). Wilberg, an accomplished architect, would participate for many years in the Austrian excavations at Ephesus (1899-1908, 1911 and 1913), before becoming the Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Athens (1912-1921).
To Ida Thallon, who took part in the Inselreise of 1900, we owe a wonderful description of Baron Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen (1864-1947), who was excavating at Thera. “[…] he is very rich and interested in archaeology and does it at his own expense… The baron is delightful, exactly like a man in a play or a book, but which I never thought really grew in ordinary life. Rather plump with a curly beard… He was the soul of hospitality; we had all sorts of good things to eat, sweet chocolate, loukoumi, biscuits, bottled soda and cognac, […] such a jovial funny man, we all are devoted to him. He has done fine work in his excavation and has just gotten under full swing for this season” (ASCSA Archives, Ida Thallon Hill Papers, box 3, folder 3, Thallon to her mother, May 8, 1900 [letter #77]).
Unlike Nellie, who was positively disposed to German culture, Ida was snobbish and critical of her German travel companions during both trips. In Olympia, she described them as “funny… with the most awful clothes and lack of collars and shaggy appearances, [as] queer as anything you ever saw”(ASCSA Archives, Ida Thallon Hill Papers, box 3, folder 3, Thallon to her mother, April 22, 1900 [letter #71]). As for the Germans of the Inselreise only Georg Karo (1872-1963) escaped Ida’s snide comments. In presenting some of her fellow travelers to her mother Ida scribbled: “One Mr. Karo was born in Italy (German parents) but was more like an Englishman, spoke exactly like one without the suspicion of accent and acted and looked like one, a very brilliant man and knew lots; also a great ladies’ man” (ASCSA Archives, Ida Thallon Hill Papers, box 3, folder 3, Thallon to her mother, May 13, 1900 [letter #79]).
The Difficult 1910s
Karo with his cosmopolitan manners and fluency in languages would also favorably impress William Bell Dinsmoor’s young bride, Zillah. (About Zillah Pierce Dinsmoor (1886-1960), see also “Letters from a New Home: Early 20th Century Athens Through the Eyes of Zillah Dinsmoor.”) Her letters describe enjoyable lunches and elaborate multi-national dinners at the German Institute with Karo as host. “Mr. Karo, of course, speaks anything and everything perfectly” admiringly noted Zillah to her mother on January 10th, 1912. (Suggested reading: “Expat Feasts in Athens on the Eve of the Balkan Wars.“) Zillah’s glowing reports of Karo’s social gatherings would, however, not last long. The day she heard about the sinking of the Lusitania, she refused with a sharp written rebuke to attend a dinner organized by Karo. And he replied to the Dinsmoors that “henceforth he will have nothing to do with them.” He would recognize Dinsmoor in his scientific capacity but no further (ASCSA Archives, Carl W. Blegen Papers, box 4, diary no. 7, December 20, 1914 – August 7, 1915, entry for May 10, 1915).
Bert Hodge Hill and Carl W. Blegen, Director and Secretary of the School respectively, would continue, of all the staff and students of the foreign schools, to attend the open meetings of the German School during the Great War until 1916, when the Institute was entrusted to the Greek Ministry of Education (Marchand 1996, 248). “In the evening we all (except Swift) went down to German School to Karos [sic]. Only Germans there besides us” scribbled Blegen on his personal diary on January 26, 1915. A month before, on Winkelmann’s day, Dec. 9, 1914, and a few months after Germany had gone into war with most European countries, the German Archaeological Institute had honored Bert Hodge Hill by making him a corresponding member (ASCSA Archives, Bert H. Hill Papers, box 33). Earlier in the year, Dinsmoor had also been elected a corresponding member of the Institute. Both Hill and Dinsmoor had no problem accepting and retaining their memberships “in spite of the October 3, 1914 ‘Aufruf an die Kulturwelt’, a very nationalistic manifesto, which was signed by many German academics” (Dyson 2016, 229). Finally, as late as November 7, 1916, Blegen and Karo would meet at the National Archaeological Museum to compare sherds from Tiryns and Korakou (ASCSA Archives, Carl W. Blegen Papers, box 4, diary no. 9, November 1, 1916 – April 1, 1917, entry for November 7, 1916).
“Germanophilia,” Independent Research, and the Expansion of Knowledge
Having examined the situation on the ground in Greece, I now would like to return to my original question: What was responsible for this remarkable phase of “Germanophilia” during the early decades of the ASCSA’s existence? For starters, there can be no doubt that personal agency played a major role. Dӧrpfeld’s charismatic personality, his eloquence, and the ability to excite his audience are all well attested. To this we could add the loss of the Delphi excavation to the French in the early 1890s. Losing Delphi appears to have nurtured some anti-French feelings among the members of the American School (Lord 1947, 58-62). (On losing the Delphi excavation, see “The American Dream to Excavate Delphi or How the Oracle Vexed the Americans (1879-1891).”)
Besides the obvious, what led me to look deeper into the issue of “Germanophilia” was the apparent ease with which the students of the American School attended Dӧrpfeld’s and Wilhelm’s lectures. Profiling the School’s early directors and professors also produced interesting results. Of the first ten ASCSA directors, eight had spent anywhere from a semester to several years in Germany, and six had received their Ph.D. from a German university. The same is true for the first two chairs of the School’s Managing Committee, John Williams White (1881-1887), Professor at Harvard, and Thomas Day Seymour (1887-1901), Professor at Yale. (White spent several years in Germany (1871-1877) studying classics at the University of Berlin, while Seymour studied classical philology for two years (1870-1872) in Leipzig and Berlin.) Of the first seventeen annual visiting professors, I have evidence that twelve matriculated at German universities. There could well be more, as in the case of White whose German experience was suppressed in his American obituaries of 1917, as well as the fact that he had been honored by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1904.
While trying to understand why so many American classicists were matriculating in Germany, and not in England or France, for example, I came across a significant body of literature concerning the “German Model” of education in America in the late 19th century. And it was not just the long tradition and excellence of German universities in the field of classics that made Germany the main destination for young American classicists. There is evidence that “ultimately some nine or ten thousand Americans matriculated in German Universities between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the outbreak of the First World War” (Turner and Bernard 1993, 88, note 5).
In the decades after the American Civil War, higher education in the U.S. experienced profound change. Before the War, American colleges resembled high schools where students learned classical languages, rhetoric, simple mathematics, and religion. Recitation tested by regular examinations was the primary method of teaching. For about three decades after the Civil War, American colleges frequently sent their presidents and faculty to Germany with one mission, to study the German University. Germany was considered the Camelot of erudition (Turner 1999, 26; McCaughey 1974, 264-265). (For a more recent study of the educational pilgrimages that Americans paid to Germany in the 19th century, see Werner 2013. Werner also discusses the practice of establishing well-connected American colonies in Germany, which allowed the U.S. students to study in more than one university). On many occasions, German universities would serve as extensions of the American ones, as is the case of the “Yale-Leipzig-Gӧttingen network” (Werner 2013, 6). In addition to bringing back Wissenschaft, the Americans imported from Germany the concept of independent research and the flexible curriculum. American educators, however, would take independent research one step further by creating the graduate school, which did not exist in the German universities of the 19th century, thus giving birth to a new type of school: the research university.
Although Johns Hopkins is usually credited as being the first research university in the United States, places like Cornell and the University of Michigan were the forerunners of reforms in American education (Turner and Bernard 1993). Even more important from my perspective, however, is the fact that modern historians of education such as James Turner and Lawrence Veysey identify the American School of Classical Studies as the first American research institute in the humanities (Turner 1999, 298, especially note 4).
Discovering Nero’s Inscription: A Case in Point
I would like to illustrate this dynamic with an example from Cornell University because one of my main sources for this paper, Nellie M. Reed, graduated from there. Cornell’s first president and “perhaps the most significant of the university builders in the United States,” Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), was one of the biggest proponents of the new research university (Turner and Bernard 2000, 225). The year Nellie was in Athens (1895-1896) there were two more people from Cornell in town: visiting professor Benjamin Ide Wheeler (1854-1927) and student Eugene Plumb Andrews (1866-1957). Wheeler was a Professor of Comparative Philology at Cornell and later became president of the University of California (1899-1919). He was also a product of the “German model,” having received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1885 after several years of study at German universities. Both Nellie and Eugene had taken many classes from him at Cornell, and Nellie Reed was thus an indirect product of the “German model,” which explains her deep admiration for the German/Austrian archaeological community of Athens. Andrews’s story is even more interesting because his academic work in 1895-1896 is proof of the new kind of scholarship that American universities were producing by the end of the 19th century.
Here is how Andrews described his experience with Dӧrpfeld that led to a major discovery:
“One cold afternoon in December  a group of shivering men and women followed a lecturer in and out among the blocks of marble that strew the Acropolis of Athens… It was an illustrated lecture on the Parthenon, with the Parthenon itself for illustration—one of the outdoor archaeological lectures which Dr. Wilhelm Dӧrpfeld of the German Institute gives every Saturday afternoon during the winter… We were gathered before the east front of the temple. The large holes, explained the lecturer, once served to hold great metal shields in place against the marble… Between the shields groups of metal letters were fastened, as these nail-holes that dot the spaces show, but what the letters were, or what they spelled, is not known.”
Dӧrpfeld concluded his Parthenon lecture by saying that it was possible “to determine from the relative positions of the holes what the letters were, and thus to recover the inscription. Such things have been done, and it is time that this was done” (Andrews 1897).
The new desire for independent research that universities such as Cornell and research institutes such as the American School were imbuing in their students, combined with Dӧrpfeld’s keen observations led Andrews to take up the call and suspend himself from the east side of the Parthenon. From this rather precarious position, he discovered Emperor Nero’s effaced inscription, which shed new light on the history of Athens.
Despite his remarkable discovery, Andrews never published the inscription because it was connected with Nero. “The inscription proved to be a dedication to Nero, whereat I’m much disgusted,” he wrote to his sister two days after having presented the results of his discovery to the Open Meeting of February 21st at the American School. Even half a century later, in 1952, Andrews would confide “I felt no elation at having torn from the Parthenon its shameful character” (Carroll 1982, 7). Finally, it was Sterling Dow who deciphered the remainder of the inscription from Andrews’s squeezes in 1972. (For a publication and commentary on the inscription, see Carroll 1982.)
Coming of Age
After 1900 one discerns a subtle shift in the curriculum vitae of the directors and professors of the American School, which no longer include years or even semesters in German Universities. Once the reformation of the American University created a series of new graduate schools, the flow of American students to German universities was significantly reduced. They would still go to Germany but during sabbatical leaves, not while in graduate school. Already from the first decade of the 20th century, we see a new generation of American graduate students arriving in Athens, intellectually confident, and better prepared than their predecessors. Some, but not all, would attend the lectures of Rudolph Heberdey on Archaic Sculpture, Georg Karo on “Smaller Antiquities,” and Anton von Premerstein on Epigraphy. And some would get bored:
“Once on shipboard, we joined a group of fourteen German scholars led by Dr. Karo, director of DAI, and Dr. Wilberg, Director of the Austrian School. I had earlier met most of these men in one way or another and so we often practiced exchanges of stilted conversation… On April 6, we landed at Candia and spent the whole day in the museum trying to concentrate on Karo’s painfully detailed discussions, mostly of vases and minor objects. By way of a change, on Monday Wilberg led us through the huge palace of Knossos, but his method proved nearly as boring…,” wrote one of the School’s students, Emerson H. Swift, in 1912-1913 (Swift 1975, 38).
By 1910 the American School had already built its own, independent academic program, and private testimonia attest to a growing tendency to interact more with the neighboring British School. In fact, it was Hill, not Karo, who would take over Dӧrpfeld’s Athenian walks and establish the American School’s own tradition of on-site lectures by the likes of Oscar Broneer, William Dinsmoor, and Eugene Vanderpool. Moreover, where in the 1890s the American School looked up to the German Institute for guidance, by the 1900s there were signs that the situation had reversed. In 1907, Dӧrpfeld after consulting with Karo announced to the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin that they had no objection to accepting women archaeologists in Athens following the successful paradigm of the American and British Schools, which not only accepted women into their academic program but even allowed them to direct excavations. Two years later (1909-1910), Margarete Bieber would be one of the four recipients of the travel fellowship yearly awarded by the German Archaeological Institute for work in Greece and Italy (Bonfante 1996, 159).
Despite how the Dinsmoors reacted to the sinking of the Lusitania, there is no strong evidence in the School’s Archives to support the idea that WWI created a breach in the relations of the two institutions. It is clear that Karo continued to enjoy the friendship of Hill and Blegen after the war. But their bond was one formed before the outbreak of the hostilities. At the same time, there is also no evidence that the two institutions re-established their close, pre-war ties after 1918. Charles Waldstein, the Jewish-American Director of the American School who had acquired his Ph.D. from Heidelberg and whose family had emigrated from Austria, would go as far as to change his name to Walston at the end of the Great War, so as not to be imagined a German. Perhaps even more telling, when the American School organized its own island cruise in 1923, there were no German students or professors among the many participants, unlike the cruises of the 1890s and early 1900s. (See “All Aboard”. Cruising the Aegean in 1923.”)
I am most grateful to Ann Townsend and Mary Townsend Bartholomew, granddaughters of Nellie Reed, for depositing faithful transcriptions of Reed’s letters to her family at the ASCSA Archives in 2010. I also thank them for allowing me to quote from Nellie’s letters. Reed’s letters are an invaluable source of information for a period that is otherwise poorly represented in the School’s Archives.
 The paper was published in Die Abteilung Athen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts und die Aktivitäten Deutscher Archäologen in Griechenland 1874-1933, ed. K. Sporn and A. Kankeleit, Berlin 2019, pp. 253-267.
 For a thorough presentation of Karo’s life, Lindenlauf 2015; Additional information can be found in Marchand 1996, 244-245, 247-248, 254-255; Davis 2010; and “A Preamble to the Nazi Holocaust in Greece: Two Micro-Histories from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.”
 I thank Dr. Alexandra Kankeleit for sharing with me the letter that Dӧrpfeld addressed to the General Secretary of the Royal Archaeological Institute in Berlin (Kaiserlich Deutches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin), on February 25, 1907.
E. P. Andrews, 1897. “How a Riddle of the Parthenon was Unraveled,” The Century Magazine 54.2 (June 1897), 301-309.
L. Bonfante, 1996. “Bieber Margarete (1879-1978),” in Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology, ed. N. Thomson de Grummond, London, 159-160.
K. K. Carroll, 1982. “The Parthenon Inscription,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monographs 9, Durham, North Carolina.
J. L. Davis, 2010. “That Special Atmosphere Outside of National Boundaries. Three Jewish Directors and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens,” ASAtene 87, 133-145
S. L. Dyson, 1998. Ancient Marbles to American Shores. Classical Archaeology in the United States, Philadelphia.
A. Lindenlauf, 2015. “Georg Heinrich Karo: ‘Gelehrter und Verteidiger Deutschen Geistes’,” JdI 130, 259-354.
L. E. Lord, 1947. A History of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1882-1942. An Intercollegiate Project, Cambridge, Mass.
S. L. Marchand, 1996. Down from Olympus. Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970, Princeton.
R. A. McCaughey, 1974. “The Transformation of American Academic Life: Harvard University 1821-1892,” Perspectives in American History 8, 239-332.
V. Mitsopoulos-Leon, 2004. “Adolf Wilhelm und das Österreichische Archäologische Institut,” in Αττικαί Επιγραφαί. Πρακτικά συμποσίου εις μνήμην Adolf Wilhelm (1864-1950), ed. A. Matthaiou, Athens, 1-6.
E. H. Swift, 1975. Youthful Rambles on the Trail of the Classics, 1912-1915, Gilroy, California.
J. C. Turner, 1999. The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, Baltimore.
J. Turner – P. Bernard, 1993. “The ‘German Model’ and the Graduate School. The University of Michigan and the Origin of the American University,” History of Higher Education Annual 13, 69-98.
J. Turner – P. Bernard, 2000. “The German Model and the Graduate School. The University of Michigan and the Origin of the American University,” in The American College in the Nineteenth Century, ed. R. Geiger, Nashville, 221-241.
A. Werner, 2013. The Transatlantic World of Higher Education. Americans at German Universities, 1776-1914, New York.
Natalia, I did some research many years ago now about the third director of the School, James Cooke van Benschoten, while I was still at Wesleyan and I perused some of the materials then available in the School archives (this would have been about 20 years ago now). If you are interested we can discuss – I am no archivist, but I do have some details about him and his brief tenure at the School.
Yes, I do remember your interest in Benschotten. Naturally, I am interested in learning more about Benschotten since our institutional records from the early years of the School are very slim. Do you have my email?
Wonderful account of the early close relations between the DAI and the ASCSA. A little beyond the time period covered in the article, but Wilhelm Doerpfeld was still an archaeological and topographical ‘rock star’ in Willy van Ingen’s graduate year (1927-28). Her letters to her mother are filled with effusive praise for Doepfeld and she adds a physical description: At the Theater of Dionysos, “he spoke in German, but very clear German, so that even I could follow him and get most of his points. He is a hale and hearty, ruddy and white haired old man, with brilliant eyes that gleam as he follows along his argument, and seem to be looking at you alone. . .The members of the School are expected to attend all of his lectures, and it will be pleasure as well as a privilege–also awfully good for my German.” On another occasion, at a tea, Doerpfeld showed up and held court; Mrs. Ida Thallon Hill, one of Willy’s professors, introduced Willy to Doerpfeld. “. . .and then he sat down and talked with me for a few minutes. I am still walking on air.” She was utterly smitten by the moment. So young, so impressionable, but haven’t we all been in the presence of famous scholars? Keep up the good work, Natalia, and stay safe. Glenn
Glenn, what you are saying is very important. It shows that Doerpfeld continued, even as an older man and scholar, to command respect and impress younger Americans (despite the criticism he was getting from Dinsmoor and others). Wilhelmina is writing 30 plus years later than Nellie.
Natalia, you make a good point. What I left out from Willy’s letter was “He is such a convincing speaker that it isn’t until you’ve come away that I I even [–?-] doubt any of his theories.” So, not everyone was won over by his interpretations, but he was such a formidable and charismatic scholar with decades of pro bono lectures for the American School that it is not surprising that the students at the School were ‘expected’ to attend his lectures. A matter of professional courtesy, respect, and gratitude, I suspect. In a sense, it was the proximity to a famous man who knew Attic topography intimately and had archaeological connections to Schliemann that drew ‘adoring’ fans to his lectures. Adolf Wilhelm of the Austrian School performed some of the same good service with epigraphy in the same period. As for Willy, she was enchanted by the old distinguished professor on a personal level and prided herself on her command of German–so a bit of self-congratulating elitism. However, to her academic credit, she didn’t believe everything Doerpfeld suggested. I love this stuff.
It’s great stuff, isn’t it? The granddaughter of Wilhelm Wilberg also contacted me three days ago; and the great-grandniece of Martin D’Ooge. All very interesting.
Always a pleasure to read these illustrated essays – this one prompted the Bent Archive to search for any Dörpfeld references in Mabel Bent’s diaries; and there is, dated Wednesday, 16 February 1898: “Mr. Hogarth took me to the Akropolis. The Parthenon is now being repaired and there is scaffolding up. Some stones are being withdrawn and replaced. This enables one to get up on a level with the frieze of the cella, only hitherto to be seen by straining one’s neck and looking up from a short distance to a great height. Only favoured individuals are allowed access to the ladders. Dr. Dörpfeld thinks the whole frieze should be removed to a museum. If so there should be a marble copy put in its place. Casts have long ago been taken and I daresay show how fast the original is wearing away: little bits constantly drop”. [‘The Travel Chronicles of Mrs. J. Theodore Bent’, Vol 1, page 330, Oxford: Archaeopress (2006)]
Dear Gerald: Thank you for reading my latest and also for sharing this great piece of information from the Bent Archive. How all come together! I need to study your publication more carefully. Best, Natalia
Besides the well-known connections between the USA and the German universities of Leipzig and Berlin, the smaller Prussian universities, especially Bonn, should not be forgotten. Harold N. Fowler and Felix Bölte had known each other since the summer semester of 1884. Both met several times in 1903/04 on Böltes journey to Greece (“Lehrer-Stipendium des Instituts” for 1903/04), both professionally and privately; they were joined by several others (Otto Lüders, Erich Preuner, Paul Wolters, Goram Phillips Stephens, who had also studied in Bonn and had also been members of the so-called “Bonner Kreis”. Bölte mentioned Fowler and his colleagues from the American School in Athens in the best possible terms.
The source of my knowledge are Böltes travel diaries (1903/04 and 1909), which I am preparing for publication.
Dear Mr. Kobes: Thank you for this new and unknown information about Americans studying in Prussian universities. I did not know Stevens’s connection with the Bonn circle. I knew that he had studied in Paris (Ecoles des Beaux-Arts). I look forward to reading your publication. All my best, Natalia Vogeikoff-Brogan
[…] In one of her letters to her sister in the Netherlands, she commented on Dörpfeld’s late years. (About Dörpfeld and his theories being challenged by younger scholars, see also “On the Trail of the “German Model”: ASCSA and DAI, 1881-1918.”) […]
[…] M. Reed, a student of the American School, was to attend. (About Nellie Reed, see also “On the Trail of the ‘German Model’: ASCSA and DAI, 1881-1918.”)The first was a large reception for the American athletes given by the Annual Professor at […]
Another wonderful write-up. I am a couple years late to the draw here, but I thought I might add another example of the lasting impression Dörpfeld made and honour he gained from some of the American students in the generation that learned from him in the 1910s. In an address that Carl Blegen gave to the Cincinnati Literary Club in December 1957 wherein he reminisced about the days of the UC Troy Expedition in the 1930s, he wrote:
“Among those who stayed with us in the wooden house at Troy Dörpfeld held an outstanding place in our affections. Though nearing eighty, he still carried himself as a young man, spare and erect in figure, alert and interested in everything about him, filled with the confident enthusiasm of youth. Only his eyes had begun to fail him as his sight grew dim. … Though an intimate friend of emperors and kings, a familiar of people in high places, he was also charming and courteous to ordinary mortals, always ready to discuss archaeological matters with students, old and young, and to help them with their problems. Meeting him, one recognized at once that he was a great personage, but he had the simplicity of true greatness. Yet at times in dealing with some of his own countrymen who had offended, he could display a touch of haughtiness, not to say arrogance. He loved to talk about his pet theories in several branches of archaeology, and he could marshal his arguments clearly and in a most persuasive manner. Each season when he was with us we used to set aside one evening or more for a proper lecture in which he expounded his views on current Trojan and Mycenaean problems. Provided he had a fair chance to explain his stand, he never took offence if one disagreed with him.”
It would be quite interesting, I think, to know what the younger students and archaeologists on the project thought of him. Likely there’s some sense of this to be pulled from their own writings.