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Elarth, Wilhelmina Van Ingen, 1905-1969



  • Existence: 1905 - 1969

Biographical Note

Wilhelmina van Ingen was born in 1905 in Rochester, New York, the daughter of Hendrik van Ingen, a well-known architect, and Ethel Mae Bell van Ingen. (Hendrik van Ingen was the son of Henry van Ingen, a painter of the Hudson River School who had emigrated from the Netherlands in 1860, and founded the Vassar College Art Department.)

After graduating from Vassar in 1926, van Ingen was awarded a Carnegie fellowship to study at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece from 1927 to 1928, during which time she participated in excavations at Eleusis. She earned a master's degree in art history and classical archaeology from Radcliffe College in 1929. Van Ingen later studied at Johns Hopkins University and in 1932, received a Ph.D. from Radcliffe with a dissertation titled "A Study of the Foundry Painter and the Alkimachos Painter." For several years, van Ingen held a research appointment at the University of Michigan's Institute of Archaeological Research.

In 1935, van Ingen was hired as an art professor at Wheaton College, where she continued to work until 1946. In 1942, she married Herschel A. Elarth (1907-1988), then a professor of architecture at the University of Oklahoma. The couple moved to Canada in 1947. Both worked for the University of Manitoba, where Wilhelmina taught art history.

In 1954, the couple moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, where Herschel Elarth joined the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute Art Department. During her time in Blacksburg, Wilhelmina Elarth was active in the American Association of University Women and served as the Blacksburg branch's president from 1964 to 1966. She was also an advisor to the Blacksburg Regional Art Association and director of the Associated Endowment Fund of the American School of Classical Studies, as well as a member of the Archeological Institute fo America, the College Art Association, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Wilhelmina van Ingen Elarth died in Roanoke, Virginia on January 7, 1969, following an illness of about a year.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Wilhelmina Van Ingen Elarth Papers

Identifier: Ms-1969-004

A collection of correspondence, diaries, postcards, heirlooms, original artwork (including sketches attributed to Henry van Ingen), ancient Greek and pre-Columbian artificacts, and photographs from Wilhelmina van Ingen Elarth, a professor of art history and classical studies who taught at the University of Michigan, Wheaton College (Massachusetts), and the University of Manitoba.

Dates: 1862 - 1971