Skip to main content

Oral history interview with Rosamond Forbes Pickhardt, 1995 Feb. 13

Oral history interview with Rosamond Forbes Pickhardt, 1995 Feb. 13

Pickhardt, Rosamond Forbes, 1908-2004


Collection Information

Size: 1 sound cassette ; (90 min.) : analog.

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 28 min.

Summary: An interview of Rosamond Forbes Pickhardt conducted 1995 Feb. 13, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Pickhardt recalls her childhood as the daughter of Edward Waldo Forbes, long-time director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (1909-1944) and Margaret Laighton; her early schooling and early interest in art; her family's 11-month stay in Europe in 1922, with the young Daniel Varney Thompson acting as her father's understudy, and during the time her father studied painting with Alexander Iacovleff in Paris; spending several weeks at the Villa Curonia, near Florence, where many art world figures visited. Pickhardt remembers Paul Sachs who, upon coming to the Fogg, encouraged her to go into museum work; Eric Schroeder, a specialist in Near Eastern art and a life-long friend; Frederick "Ted" Grace, a scholar of classical art who had been groomed by Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs to succeed them as director of the Fogg but who was killed during World War II; Jakob Rosenberg, a German refugee scholar; Deman Ross; Harold Zimmerman with whom she studied drawing; Langdon Warner, a scholar of Asiatic art and one of her father's oldest friends; Kingsley Porter; and Mark Tobey with whom she studied. Pickhardt talks about her third marriage to Carl Pickhardt in 1953 and their life-long ties with the Forbes family.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rosamond Forbes Pichardt (1908-2004) was a writer from Sherborn, Mass.


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.

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Rosamond Forbes Pickhardt, 1995 Feb. 13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.