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Oral history interview with Churchhill Lathrop, 1982 Feb. 25-1983 Jan. 26

Lathrop, Churchill P., 1900-1995

Art historian, Gallery director


Collection Information

Size: 10 sound files : digital, wav file

Format: Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 17 min.

Summary: An interview of Churchill Lathrop conducted 1982 Feb. 25-1983 Jan. 26, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Lathrop discusses his childhood in Montclair, N.J.; college at Rutgers; various jobs in the 1920s; attending Princeton University where he received his M.A. in art history and his teachers there, including Charles Rufus Morey and Frank Jewett Mather. He reviews his tenure at Dartmouth, discussing work with Artemas Packard, involvement with Dartmouth alumnus Nelson Rockefeller and his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller in building a collection of modern art at Dartmouth, visiting artist José Clemente Orozco and his mural painted for Baker Library, his directorship of the Dartmouth art galleries and work in planning the Hopkins Art Center, and Mrs. Aileen Osborn Webb's attempts to establish a graduate level design school at Dartmouth in the 1940s. He recalls acquaintances and colleagues, including Alfred Stieglitz, Adelbert Ames, A. Conger Goodyear, Dorothy Miller, Alfred Barr, Jr. and others at the Museum of Modern Art, and Hilla Rebay and others involved in the Guggenheim Museum of Non-Objective Paintings.

Biographical/Historical Note

Churchill P. Lathrop (1900-1995) was an art historian at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. Full name Churchill Pierce Lathrop, but often known as Jerry Lathrop. Lathrop joined the Art Department at Dartmouth in 1928, serving as chair 1932-1936, 1940-1948, and 1962-1965, before retiring in 1966. In addition to teaching, Lathrop was director of the college's art galleries, custodian of Dartmouth's art collections, and founder of its Sherman Art Library.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Churchhill Lathrop, 1982 Feb. 25-1983 Jan. 26. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.