James D. Breckenridge papers

Inclusive Dates: 
1924-1983
Survey Repository: 

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

23 boxes of material consisting of biographical materials, education files, correspondence, teaching files, research and consulting files, professional organizations files, speeches and papers, and (the bulk of the collection) publications. Included is material relating to Breckenridge’s work as a curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) and the Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as his service on behalf of the Evanston Arts Center, the Municipal Art Commission of Evanston, the Chicago Arts Festival, and the Midwest Art History Society, of which he was president, 1977-1980. Also included is a folder of text and correspondence on the "Chicago Scene" (1962-1963).

Biographical Historical Note

Art historian James Douglas Breckenridge received his PhD from Princeton University in 1957 and served as a curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) and the Baltimore Museum of Art before joining the faculty of Northwestern University in 1961, remaining until his death in 1982. Although a specialist in religious art and the art and architecture of Rome, Byzantium, and the Middle Ages, Breckenridge taught, lectured, and wrote on a wide variety of topics in art history. Breckenridge was a founder of the Midwest Art History Society in 1973 and served as President from 1977 to 1980.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Records of the Art History Department, Department of Art Scrapbooks, and Records of the Department of Art, Northwestern University.