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Andrew Carnduff Ritchie papers, 1907-1983

Biographical Note

Andrew Carnduff Ritchie (1907-1978) was a museum director, professor, and art historian based in New York and Connecticut. He served as director of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., director of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, and director of the Yale University Art Gallery.
Andrew Carnduff Ritchie was born in Bellshill, Scotland, in 1907 to Andrew and Jeanie Gilchrist Ritchie. The family immigrated to the United States when he was 15 and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and received a bachelor's and master of arts degrees in medieval art, and his doctoral degree from the University of London in 1935. That same year, he married Jane Thompson.
From 1935 to 1942, Ritchie was a researcher and lecturer at the Frick Collection in New York City and faculty member at New York University, as well as a visiting lecturer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1942, Ritchie was appointed director of the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York where he stayed until 1949 when he became the director of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.
In 1945-1946, directly following World War II, Ritchie served with the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section in Austria and helped with the restitution of art looted by the Nazis, returning paintings and cultural artifacts back to their country of origin. He was later honored by France and the Netherlands for this work.
In 1957, Ritchie accepted the postion of director of the Yale University Art Gallery where he stayed until 1971. While there, he acquired notable works of art for the Gallery's collections by David Smith, Noguchi, and Maillol. Thanks to Ritchie's efforts and guidance, art collector and patron Paul Mellon donated his collection of British art and established the Yale Center for British Studies. In 1971, Ritchie also became the Clark Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts, and, in 1972, he was a visiting professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. Ritchie retired from Yale in 1973.
Ritchie was also awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Pittsburgh and the Royal College of Art in London. He wrote several books over the course of his career and passed away in Canaan, Connecticut, in 1978.