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Howard Crosby Butler: The Man Who Went to Wake The Dead, 1872-1922

Visual Resources, Department of Art & Archaeology; Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity, Fikret K. Yegül 219 Burr Hall

October 3, 2022 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 219 Aaron Burr Hall

Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Lecture

We remember Howard Crosby Butler on the one-hundredth anniversary of his death in 1922 and celebrate his life. Born in 1872, Butler received his MA at Princeton in 1893 and after completing a professional course in architecture, joined Princeton faculty in 1895. He became the first Master in Residence of the Princeton Graduate College in 1905. He was a dedicated and passionate teacher who became a legend among his students. As a young man he led three courageous and successful expeditions deep into Syria resulting in seminal publications documenting the art, architecture, and culture of a part of the classical and late antique world then only barely known. His contributions to archaeology were culminated in the four years of explorations and excavations at Sardis, Turkey, where he was the director (1909-1914, 1922). At the crossroads of East and West, Butler’s path-breaking work at Sardis constitute the foundation of the continuing exploration of this site by a different American team. Butler contributed to the war effort by serving on many professional and international committees and offering his advice on the important question on archaeological sites and preservation of cultural heritages in occupied territories. In close observation, Butler’s personal and professional life was challenged by hard questions and difficult choices of ethics and integrity. We approach to these issues not to judge but to understand within the context of the world he lived in.

  • Visual Resources, Department of Art & Archaeology
  • Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity
  • Lecture made possible in part by the Jean Labatut Memorial Lectures in Architecture and Urban Planning Fund through Princeton University’s School of Architecture
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