Taylor, Francis Henry

Taylor, Francis Henry,

1903–57, American museum director, b. Philadelphia, studied throughout Europe. He began his museum career as assistant curator (1927–28) and then curator of medieval art (1928–31) of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As director of the Worcester (Mass.) Art Museum (1931–40; 1955–57) he did much to stimulate public interest in the museum. As director of the Metropolitan Museum (1940–55) he developed his theory of the museum as an institution of active public service, not simply a repository of art. His writings include Babel's Tower (1945); The Taste of Angels (1948), a history of art collecting; Fifty Centuries of Art (1954); and Pierpont Morgan as Collector and Patron (1957).
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Taylor, Francis Henry

(1903–57) museum director; born in Philadelphia. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1924) and various other institutions. He was the assistant curator (1927–28) and then the curator of medieval art (1928–31) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was director of the Worcester Museum of Art (1931–40), which he turned into the best small city museum in America. As director of the Metropolitan Museum (1940–55), he undertook a series of international loans from European collections that were unsettled during World War II; the museum's attendance soared and its membership almost tripled. He wrote The Taste of Angels (1948).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.