Susan Dwight Bliss

Drawings, prints, and Egyptian antiquities
Interior photo of an intimate library room with chandeliers and an ornately carved ceiling.

Sole heir to wealthy financier George T. (1816–1901) and Jeanette Dwight Bliss (1852–1924), Susan Dwight Bliss was a New York collector and philanthropist. She inherited a sizeable collection of ancient Mediterranean and historic European art from her parents, prominent collectors of the Gilded Age, and continued to collect rare books, manuscripts, and historic art and artifacts herself. Bliss maintained a summer home in Bar Harbor and visited Bowdoin and the Walker Art Museum regularly during her travels through Maine. Beginning in the 1950s, she donated to Bowdoin many of her rare books, manuscripts, and the interior and furnishings of the library of her Upper Eastside mansion, installed today as the Susan Dwight Bliss Room in Bowdoin’s Hubbard Hall. From 195456, she also donated a major collection of almost one thousand prints to the Museum, including many neoclassical works and a small but notable group of Egyptian antiquities. 

L’Amour Vaincu (Love Vanquished) Charles Joseph Natoire ca. 1736
Five Classical Figures Jacques-Louis David 1809
Classical Award Ceremony Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours 1752–1809
Sacred and Christian Rome Maratti, Carlo ca. 1674-1677
Ovoid jar ca. 3200–2815 BCE
Ointment jar 4th–3rd millennium BCE
Head of a cat 6th–2nd c. BCE
Neith statuette 6th–2nd c. BCE