The Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s collection of antiquities and art related to the ancient Mediterranean has been grown through the generosity of generations of individuals who shared a passion for the ancient past. Explore some of their stories and collections here. 

James Bowdoin III 1752–1811

The son of the wealthy merchant and second governor of Massachusetts, James Bowdoin II, Bowdoin figured among a small group of leading figures who recognized the value of art in fostering enlightened ideals and philosophical contemplation among a budding republic.

James Bowdoin III
George William Boyd 1791–1860

At Boyd's death in 1860, Boyd bequeathed the single largest gift from an alumnus the school had ever received. The College expressed its regard for him, affirming its belief that "his honored name will assuredly stand at the head of a long line of benefactors."

George William Boyd
Henri Byron Haskell 1830–1864

Following his graduation from Bowdoin in 1855, Haskell took up missionary work in Mosul (in present day Iraq), then part of the Ottoman Empire. There he was well positioned to frequent the recently uncovered archaeological site of Nimrud, where British archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard had recently uncovered the ancient Neo-Assyrian palace complex of the King Ashurnassirpal II.

Henri Byron Haskell
George Warren Hammond 1833–1908

In 1897, Hammond became the first donor to expand the ancient collections since the Walker sisters, with his donation of over one hundred objects including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects such as lamps, figurines, funerary artifacts, coins, and glass.  

George Warren Hammond
Edward Perry Warren 1860–1928

A testament to his impact as an influential twentieth-century American antiquities collector, Edward Perry Warren’s (1860–1928, H ’26) name is linked to hundreds of ancient objects housed in institutions across the United States, including more than five hundred works at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art alone.

Edward Perry Warren
Dana C. Estes 1840–1909

Maine native Dana C. Estes (1840–1909) was a founding partner of a prominent Boston bookseller and publishing house, Estes & Lauriat (est. 1872), which later operated as Dana Estes & Co. (1898–1909).

Dana C. Estes
Susan Dwight Bliss 1882–1966

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. 

Susan Dwight Bliss