Margarete Bieber in 1971, by Eric Magnuson.

Margarete Bieber

A distinguished classical art historian, Margarete Bieber (1879-1978) was born in 1879 in present day Poland. She attended school locally, studied classics in Berlin and Bonn, and in 1907 completed her doctoral studies. Bieber temporarily resided in Rome and published several museum collections. Winning a prestigious travel fellowship, she visited ancient sites until 1914, and in 1915, during World War I, she worked for the Red Cross in Berlin and conducted archaeological seminars in Berlin’s Archaeological Department. Some of her important publications date to this period—treatises on theater masks, the portraitures of Socrates and Aristophanes, the costume of tragedy, and Amazon chitons.

With resolve, Bieber desired to be appointed professor at a German university. Although discriminated against because she was a woman, in 1919, she was to realize this dream. Later due to government financial exigencies her university position was cut, but from 1927 she continued to direct the Archaeological Institute at the University of Giessen. Continuing her research devoted to Greek clothing and ancient theaters, she was appointed associate professor—the highest rank possible for a woman. From 1931-1932 she traveled, and in 1932 adopted a daughter, Ingeborg (Inge).

Because she was of Jewish ancestry, the “cleansing” of the universities subjected her to a forced retirement in 1933. She sold her possessions, left Germany for Oxford, and in 1934, she traveled to the U.S. where she taught at Barnard College, before joining Columbia University’s Department of Fine Arts and Archaeology. An energetic professor, Bieber also sustained an impressive publication record. In 1939 she became an American citizen and wrote her seminal work, The History of the Greek and Roman Theater.

Bieber officially retired from Columbia in 1948, but taught in the Columbia School of General Studies as well as at Princeton University. Having been awarded many honors, she continued to publish. Until her death in 1978, Margarete Bieber was a celebrated scholar and devoted teacher who bequeathed a rich and lasting legacy of archaeological scholarship.

Author of biography: Larissa Bonfante and Matthias Recke
Includes bibliography? Yes

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Keywords: Alban Hills, Albert Gallatin, Alber M. Friend, Alexander the Great, Altes Museum in Berlin, Alvin Johnson, Amedeo Maiuri, Amazons, America, American Academy in Rome, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association of University Women (AAUW), American Journal of Archaeology, American Journal of Philology, American Philosophical Society, Anton Neugebauer, Arch of Constantine, Aristophanes, Asclepius sanctuary at Kos, Ashmolean Museum, Archaeological Institute of America, Arnold von Salis, Arnt-Amelung’s Einzelaufnahmen, Assia Spiro, Autobiography of a Female Scholar, Anita Augsburg, Anna, Arbiturium, Arnold Vogell, Athens, August Brinkmann, Barnard College, Benjamin Meritt, Berlin, Bernhard Schweitzer, Bianca Maria Felletti Maj, Bollingen Foundation, Bonn, Boston, Bruno Sauer, Bruno Schröder, Bryn Mawr, Buffalo, Carl Weickert, casts, Charles Rufus Morey, Chicago, chiton, Classics, Claire Richter Sherman, Cleveland, Colosseum, Columbia University, Columbia University Seminar on Classical Civilization, Constantinople, Crete, Delbrueck, Delphi, Didyma, Dora Mosse, Dresden, Edith Hall Dohan, Eduard Meyer, Eduard Schmidt, Elizabeth Jastrow, Else Mülhaupt, Emerson Swift, Emma Noether, Enrico Paribeni, Epidauros, Eric Sjövquist, Erich Pernice, Ernest T. DeWald, Erlangen, Ernest Nash, Ernst Noether, Ernst von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Erwin Panofsky, Etruscan, Ettore Romagnoli, Europa, Evelyn Harrison, Familienheim, Felix Solmsen, Ferdinand Noack, Francis Jones, Frankfort, Frascati, Frank Brown, Franz Buecheler, Fräulein Freytag, Freiburg, Friedrich Matz, Friedrich Deichmann, Friedrich Paulsen, Friedrich Spiro, Frl. Hessling, Fritz Moritz Heichelheim, George and Kate Elderkin, Georg Karo, Georg Lippold, Georg Loeschcke, George Simmel, Gerda Bruns, Gerhart Rodenwaldt, German Archaeological Institute, German Civil Law, Germany, German Archaeological Institute, Geschichte der griechischen Tracht, Giessen, Gilbert Murray, Gisela Richter, Goethe, Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement of the Archaeological Institute of America, Göttingen, Greece, Greek art, Greifswald, Guido Kaschnitz von Weinberg, Gustav Stresemann, Gymnasialkurse, Habilitationsschrift, Hadrianic period, Hadrian’s Villa, H. G. Gundel, Hans Dragendorff, Hans Möbius, Hans Nachod, Heidelberg, Heinrich Lattermann, Helen L. Lorimer, Helene Lamge, Hermann Diels, Hermann Kloter, Hermine Speier, Hetty Goldman, Hildegard Wegscheider-Ziegler, Höhere Mädchenschule, Horace Mann School, Hubert Knackfuss, Hugo Prinz, Jacob Heinrich Bieber, Jane van Heuckelum, J. D. Beazley, Josef Vogt, Julius Fröber, Inez Longobardi, Ingeborg, Institute for Advanced Study at Princetion, Institute of Fine Arts New York University, Istanbul, Jane van Heuckelum, Hitler, Jewish, Karl Bettermann, Joseph Alsop, Julius Held, Karl Kalbfleisch, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Kassel Apollo, Katharina Freytag, Kleist, kouros, Kreis Schwetz, Kreis Swiece, Kresilas, Kurt Busse, Laocoon, Larissa Bonfante, Leslie Shear, Lessing, limes, London, Ludwig Curtius, Ludwig Deubner, Luigi Pernier, Luisa Banti, Margarete Bieber Hall, Matthias Recke, Marburg, Marion Lawrence, Maturiatätsprüfung, Mary Swindler, Mein Kampf, Melitta Gerhard, Metropolitan Museum, Merck Farben-Fabrik, Meyer Schapiro, Miletus, Millard Meiss, Mommsen, Mrs. De Witt, Monuments in the Ancient Theater I: Theater Buildings, Munich, Mycenae, Maples, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Socialists, National Socialist Women’s League, Nazi, New York, New York Times, Newell, New School for Social Research, Nicholas Murray Butler, Norden and Eduard Meyer, Olympia, Ostia Antica, Otto Behaghel, Otto Brendel, Ottorino Respighi, Oxford, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Paola Zancani Montuoro, papyrologist, Paris, Paul Clemen, Paul Wolters, Pergamon, Phidias, Platus, Poland, Polycleitus, Pompeii, Priene, Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, Privatdozentin, Przechowo, Raissa Calza, Red Cross, refugees, Reinhard Herbig, Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz, Richard Delbrueck, Richard Heinze, Richard Laqueur, Richard and Agnes Stillwell, Robert Zahn, Rome, Rudolf Herzog, Rudolf Wittkover, Russia, Ruth Vollmer, Salomon Reinach, Salvatore Aurigemma, satyr play vases, Schliemann, Schoenau, Sele, Semne Karouzou, Shaw, Sir Arthur Evans, Smyrna, Socrates, Sofia, Somerville College, suffragettes, St. Hilda’s College, Tarsus, Tenea, terra sigillata, theater masks, The Archaeological Institute at the University of Giessen, The History of the Greek and Roman Theater, Theodor Wiegand, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age, Thorn, Tivoli, Toledo, Toni and Isabel Raubitschek, Toronto, Treaty of Versailles, Trier, Troy, Tübingen, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, United Nations, University of Berlin, University of Giessen, University of Kiel, Schwetz, Valentin Müller, Valli Bukofzer, Vatican, Vatican Collection, “Venus Genetrix des Arkesilaos”, Vera Lachmann, Villa Ariadne, Villa Albani, Villa Falconeri, Virginia Gildersleeve, Walther Amelung, Wanderjahre, Weimer Republic, West Prussia, Westermann, Wiesbaden Museum, Wilamowitz Diels, Wilhelm Gundel, Wilhelm II, Wilhelm Oskar Helm, Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Wilhelm von Massow, Villa of the Mysteries, William B. Dinsmoor, Winckelmann, Women as Interpreters of the Visual Arts, World War I, World War II, Würzburg, Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst,

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Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists
Published by the University of Michigan Press, 2004