Skip to main content

John McDonald Moore papers, 1948-2015

Biographical Note

John McDonald Moore (1919-1999) was a lecturer in art history at the New School for Social Research in New York City from 1968 until his death in 1999. Moore was born in the state of Georgia, where he attended the High Museum School of Art. He served as an illustrator for the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. After the war he worked as an advertising illustrator in New York. In 1961, Moore realized his true vocation was teaching. He began teaching part time at New York University, and in 1968 became a lecturer in art history at the New School, where he continued to teach until his death. There he met his wife, Elaine R. (Bobbie) Werblud, who became Moore's teaching assistant in 1970. Werblud was instrumental in supporting Moore's work through her extensive logging of course lectures in notebooks, transcribing lectures on notecards, recording weekly lectures, and organizing trips to exhibitions and artist studios, as well as studies abroad. From 1968-1971 Moore earned a B.A. and M.A. in art history at Goddard College. Moore was an inspirational lecturer acclaimed by many New York artists who were his students, including Mary Frank and Ursula von Rydingsvard. The John McDonald Moore Memorial Lecture series at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics was established in his honor.