D'Harnoncourt, René

D'Harnoncourt, René (Count)

(1901–68) museum director; born in Vienna, Austria. He studied chemistry at the University of Graz (Austria) (1918–20), and attended the Technische Hochschule, Vienna. During economic troubles in Austria, he emigrated to Mexico, became interested in Mexican folk art, and illustrated children's books. He organized major traveling exhibitions of Mexican art to America. He settled in New York City (1932), dropped the use of his title (1939), and became known as an authority on primitive art. He became director and manager of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C. (1937–66), and was the art director of the Museum of Modern Art (1949–68).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.