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Perry Townsend Rathbone


Perry RATHBONE, museum director. American Association of Museums and Association of Art Museum Directors, United States National Commission, of Institute Council of Museums, American Academy, of Arts and Sciences, Visiting Committee Fogg Art Museum 1955-1966, Rockefeller Panel on the Performing Arts 63.


Rathbone, Perry Townsend was born on July 3, 1911 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Howard Betts and Beatrice (Connely) Rathbone.


AB, Harvard University, 1933. Postgraduate, Harvard University, 1934. Arts D., Washington University, St. Louis, 1958.

Doctor of Humane Letters, Northeastern University, 1960. Doctor of Humane Letters, Suffolk University. Doctor of Humane Letters, Williams College, 1970.

A.F.D., Bates College, 1964. A.F.D., Boston College, 1970. A.F.D., Rhode Island School Design, 1982.


Co-director Harvard Society Contemporary Art, 1931-1933. Educational assistant Detroit Institute Arts, 1934-1936. Instructor fine arts Wayne University, Detroit.

Curator Alger House (suburban branch Detroit Institute Arts) and general research assistant to Director Valentiner, 1936-1939. Assistant to Director Valentiner (director general masterpieces of art), New York World's Fair. Later director); director City Art Museum, St. Louis, 1940-1955.

Director Museum Fine Arts, Boston, 1954-1972, 1955-1972, director emeritus, consultant, from 1972. Director Christie's United States of America, 1973-1977. Senior vice president, director Christie's International, 1977-1986.

Consultant to Christie's International, from 1987. President St. Louis Art Commission, 1940-1955, St. Louis Little Symphony, 1950-1955. Adviser council Harvard Foundation for Advanced Study and Research, 1953-1958.

Member visiting committee Fogg Art Museum, Harvard, 1955-1966. Member United States national commission International Council of Museums. Adviser program for humanities Ford Foundation, 1957-1973.

Adviser art committee Chase Manhattan Bank, 1958-1976. President Metropolitan Boston Arts Center, Inc., 1958-1961, chairman board, 1961-1972. Member Rockefeller Panel on Performing Arts, 1963-1964, Skowhegan School Painting and Sculpture, 1965-1977.

Fine arts visiting committee Rhode Island School Design, 1966-1968, trustee, 1969-1974. Adviser Urasenke Foundation, Kyoto, Japan, since 1974. Vice chairman Massachusetts Art Commission.

Vice president Cosmopolitan Art Foundation, 1974-1913. Member Cambridge Arts Council, 1978-1979, 79—.



Member board overseers Brandeis University, Strawbery Banke, Inc. Trustee American Federation Arts, 1959-1979, New England Conservatory of Music, 1960-1980, Boston Arts Festival, Cape Cod Art Association, International Exhibitions Foundation, 1965-1981, Royal Oak Foundation, 1974-1992, Opera Company of Boston, 1976-1990. Lieutenant Commander United States Naval Reserve, 1942-1945, PTO. Member American Association Museum (vice president since 1960, council), St. Louis Round Table, Massachusetts History Society, Colonial Society Massachusetts, Association Art Museum Directors (president 1959-1960, 69-70, trustee 1969-1972), American Academy Arts and Sciences, Royal Art Society London, Phi Beta Kappa (honorary Harvard chapter), Century Club (New York City), Tavern Club (Boston), Odd Volumes Club (Boston), Harvard Club (Boston).


  • Other Interests

    Art, travel, historic preservation.


Married Euretta de Cosson, February 10, 1945. Children: Peter Betts, Eliza, Belinda.

Howard Betts Rathbone

Beatrice (Connely) Rathbone

Euretta de Cosson

Peter Betts Rathbone

Eliza Rathbone

Belinda Rathbone