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Alan Maxwell Fern Edit Profile

art historian , Museum director

Alan Maxwell Fern, art historian, retired museum director. Decorated chevalier Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium), Ordre des Arts et Lettres (France), Commander Royal Order of Polar Star (Sweden); Fulbright scholar Courtauld Institute, University London, 1954-1955.


Fern, Alan Maxwell was born on October 19, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Son of Martin and Rose Fern.


Bachelor of Arts, University of Chicago, 1950;Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1954;Doctor of Philosophy, University Chicago, 1960;Fulbright scholar, Courtauld Institute, U. London, 1954-1955.


Assistant, instructor, assistant professor humanities, The College, University of Chicago, 1952-1961;assistant curator prints and photographs division, Library of Congress, Washington, 1961;curator fine prints, Library of Congress, 1962-1964;assistant chief, Library of Congress, 1964-1973;chief, Library of Congress, 1973-1976;director research department, Library of Congress, 1976-1978;director special collections, Library of Congress, 1978-1982;director, National Portrait Gallery, since 1982.



Board directors Smart Museum Art, Chicago, Washington. Active United States Senate Curatorial Advisory Board, State Maryland Commission on Artistic Property. Member Print Council American (past president), College Art Association, American Antiquarian Society, American Institute of Architects (honorary), Double Crown Club (honorary), Cosmos Club (president 2006-2007), Grolier Club (New York City).


Married Lois Ann Karbel, March 17, 1957.

Martin Fern

Rose Fern

Lois Ann Karbel