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John Canfield Ewers

John Canfield Ewers, museum administrator. Recipient 1st Exceptional Service medal Smithsonian Institution, 1965, award for research and publications in American Indian art Native American Art Studies Association, 1989, gold medal for contribution to history of America, West Buffalo Bill History Center, 1991, award for distinguished service American Association Museum, 1996.


  • Ewers, John Canfield was born on July 21, 1909 in Cleveland. Son of John Ray and Mary Alice (Canfield) Ewers.

  • Education

    • AB, Dartmouth College, 1931. Doctor of Science, Dartmouth College, 1968. Master of Arts, Yale University, 1934.

      Doctor of Laws, University Montana, 1966. Doctor of Letters (honorary)., Montana State University, 1994.


    • Field curator National Park Service, Washington, Morristown, New Jersey, Berkeley, California, Macon, Georgia, 1935-1940. Curator Museum Plains Indian, Browning, Montana, 1941-1944. Associate curator ethnology United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1946-1956, planning officer, 1956-1959, assistant director Museum History and Technology, 1959-1964, director, 1964-1965.

      Senior scientist United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution (Office Anthropology), 1965-1979. Now ethnologist emeritus United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution (Department Anthropology). Research associate, honorary trustee Museum American Indian Heye Foundation, New York City, 1979-1990.

      Museum planning consultant Bureau Indian Affairs, 1948-1949, Montana History Society, 1950-1954. Consultant American Heritage, 1959.



    Served with United States Naval Reserve, 1944-1946. Fellow American Anthropological Association, Rochester Museum Arts and Sciences. Member Western History Association (honorary life, prize for distinguished writing 1985), American Indian Ethnohist.

    Conference (president 1960-1961), Anthropological Society Washington. Clubs: Cosmos (Washington). Explorers (New York City).


    • Married Margaret Elizabeth Dumville, September 6, 1934. Children: Jane (Mistress Robinson), Diane (Mistress Peterson).
    • father: John Ray Ewers
    • mother: Mary Alice (Canfield) Ewers
    • spouse: Margaret Elizabeth Dumville
    • children: Jane Ewers (Mistress Robinson)
    • Diane Ewers (Mistress Peterson)
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    Born July 21, 1909
    Died May 7, 1997
    (aged 87)
    • 1931
      Dartmouth College
    • 1968
      Dartmouth College
    • 1934
      Yale University
    • 1966
      University Montana
    • 1994
      Montana State University
    • 1935 - 1940
      Field curator National Park Service
      Morristown, New Jersey, United States
    • 1941 - 1944
      curator Museum Plains Indian
      Browning, Missouri, United States
    • 1946 - 1956
      associate, curator ethnology United States National Museum
      Washington, United States
    • 1965 - 1979
      senior, scientist United States National Museum
    • 1979 - 1990
      research associate, Museum American Indian Heye Foundation
    • 1979 - 1990
      honorary trustee, Museum American Indian Heye Foundation
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