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Adelyn Dohme Breeskin Edit Profile

historian , art historian

Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, senior curatorial adviser, former art museum director, art adviser. Member Association Art Museum Directors (secretary-treasurer 1953-1956, pres 1956-1957), International Graphic Arts Society (member American jury of selection, 1955-1965), Print Council American (secretary 1956).

Background

Breeskin, Adelyn Dohme was born on July 19, 1896 in Baltimore. Daughter of Alfred R.L. and Emmie (Blummer) Dohme.

Education

Graduate, Radcliffe College, 1918. Graduate, School Fine Arts, Crafts and Decorative Design, Boston, 1918. LD, Goucher College, Baltimore, 1958.

Doctor of Fine Arts, Washington College, 1961. Doctor of Fine Arts, Wheaton College, 1964. Doctor of Fine Arts, Hood College, 1966.

Doctor of Fine Arts, Morgan State College, 1966.

Career

In 1918, she received her bachelor's degree from the Boston School of Fine Arts, Crafts, and Decorative Design. Breeskin then served as an assistant in the print department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Kathryn B. Child under the curator of prints, William Mills Ivins. Breeskin moved to Baltimore to work as a curator in the Baltimore Museum of Art and was promoted to director of the museum in 1942.

As the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Breeskin established a works on paper collection, supervised an exhibit of John Russell Pope, mounted the show “Abstract Expressionism,” oversaw expansion to the institution, acted as commissioner for the American Contingent of 30th Venice Biennale, and negotiated the donation of Etta and Claribel Cone Cone Collection. In 1962, Breeskin left the Baltimore Museum of Art to become the head of Washington Gallery of Modern Art. Breeskin currated shows such as “Roots of Abstract Art in America” in 1965, but she resigned two years later.

From 1960 to 1974, she served as the curator of contemporary painting and sculpture at the National Collection of Fine Arts later called the National Museum of American Art where she featured artists such as , Milton Avery, H. Lyman Sayen, William J. Johnson, and Bob Thompson (painter). Beginning her research in the 1940s, Breeskin authored two catalogue raisonnés on Cassatt’s paintings, oils, and pastels and Cassatt’s watercolors and drawings. She acted as curator of the Cassatt retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in 1970 though she was simultaneously working on the Sayn and Johnson shows.

Several hours a week, Breeskin devoted time to adding information to her catalogues and answering numerous questions from collectors from around the world.

Achievements

  • 1956 President of the Association of Art Museum Directors 1976 Katherine Caffey Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in the Museum Profession 1984 Saluted by Women’s caucas of the American Association of Museums as “an exemplary model whose distinguished career is permanently etched in the fertile ground of American art history.” 1985 Smithsonian Institution presented her their highest award, the Gold Medal for Exceptional Service.

Membership

Member Association Art Museum Directors (secretary-treasurer 1953-1956, pres 1956-1957), International Graphic Arts Society (member American jury of selection, 1955-1965), Print Council American (secretary 1956).

Connections

Married Elias Breeskin, April 12, 1920. Children: Jean (Mistress Clayton Timbrell), Dorothy (Mistress Dorothy B. Brown), Gloria (Mistress Cornelius Peck).

father:
Alfred R.L. Dohme

mother:
Emmie (Blummer) Dohme

spouse:
Elias Breeskin

child:
Jean Breeskin (Mistress Clayton Timbrell)

child:
Dorothy Breeskin (Mistress Dorothy B. Brown)

child:
Gloria Breeskin (Mistress Cornelius Peck)