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In Memoriam: Mark Lansburgh

Hood Quarterly, spring 2014

One of the great donors of works of art and incunabula (books printed before 1501) to the Hood Museum of Art and Rauner Special Collections at the Dartmouth College Library was Mark Lansburgh Jr., who died this past summer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he had lived for many years. An art historian and long-time collector, he was a lecturer in art at Colorado College and visiting lecturer at various campuses, including Dartmouth, Stanford, and New York University. He served in the army in World War II from 1943 to 1945 as an air force flight lieutenant and attended Dartmouth in the post-war years, graduating in 1949.

He was the donor of over fifty manuscripts, several important printed texts, and a collection of handprinted broadsides to the library, and a number of Islamic and ancient works of art to the Hood. He was also responsible for the major purchase and gift to the College of over 130 Native American ledger drawings, which were recently published in the 2012 volume Ledger Narratives: The Plains Indian Drawings of the Lansburgh Collection at Dartmouth College, edited by Native American Studies professor and historian Colin Calloway and published by the University of Oklahoma Press in collaboration with the Hood Museum of Art. Dartmouth faculty members Melanie Benson Taylor and Vera Palmer also wrote for this volume, which featured an extensive appendix compiled by the Hood’s collections cataloguer, Deborah Haynes. This volume was accompanied by a Hood exhibition about the ledger drawings and was runner-up for the College Art Association’s prestigious Barr Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, or Collections.

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