Queer Places:
Harvard University, 2 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Winterthur Museum, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735
Yale University, 38 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven, CT 06520
Cook Hill, Wallingford, CT 06492
Boiling Springs Cemetery Decatur, Macon County, Illinois, USA

Charles Franklin Montgomery (April 14, 1910 – February 21, 1978) was an American art connoisseur, teacher, and scholar. He was a member of the Horace Walpole Society, elected in 1955.

Charles Franklin Montgomery was born in Austin Township, Ill., the son of William Norton Montgomery (1880–1961) and Grace Louisa Albert (1885–1955). After graduating from Harvard University in 1932, Montgomery worked for the Herald Tribune, owned an orchard, and began collecting antiquities.

Montgomery and his first wife, Evelyn Reed, married in 1938, spent the better part of a decade at Cook Hill, Wallingford, New Haven, CT, attempting with little success to run an orchard. Montgomery's second wife and professional collaborator, Florence Mellowes (1914-1998), married in 1946, served as Winterthur's curator of textiles and a textile consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Montgomery had a son from each marriage, Charles Franklin Jr and William P. Montgomery; he and his second wife also had a daughter, Agnes Nisbet Montgomery (1950–1955), who died as a child.

His work as a dealer and consultant grew into a significant scholarly career.[1] Montgomery had a particular interest in pewter, a subject on which he was an authority and "enthusiastic evangelist."[2] His well-illustrated 1973 book, A History of American Pewter, serves as a concise introduction to the subject, but also touches upon broader themes in the study of decorative arts and social history.[3]

In 1949, Montgomery was appointed associate curator and executive secretary of the Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum; in 1954, he was appointed director of the Museum.[4][5] He began teaching courses in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture in 1952 and during the early years of the program was responsible for raising funds for fellowship grants. He remained part of the program until 1970.[6] Under Montgomery's direction, the Winterthur's graduate program was the first to offer professional training for careers in historic administration and historic house museums.[7] While at the Winterthur, he was ,an adjunct professor of American art at the University of Delaware, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.

Montgomery then served as curator and Professor of Art History at Yale University, where his exhibitions included "American Art, 1750-1800: Towards Independence," a bicentennial exhibit that later traveled to the Victoria and Albert Museum.[8] The show, which garnered material from museums from Boston to Washington, was considered a major contribution of the art world towards the celebration of America's bicentennial. In London, the show attracted 62,000 viewers in eight weeks. Yale's History of Art Department includes a decorative arts professorship named for Montgomery.[12]

Montgomery was a member of the editorial board of the American Walpole Society Notebook.[9] He was elected to the Walpole Society (1955) and the American Antiquarian Society (1958).[10] The Decorative Arts Society offers an Award and Prize, named for Montgomery, that honor outstanding scholarly work on the decorative arts.[11]

Montgomery died shortly after collapsing in a Yale classroom.[13] In 2015 Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library announced a $5 million endowment to fund The Charles F. Montgomery Director of Winterthur, in honor of the institution's first Director (1954—1961). This milestone support -- the largest for a single purpose in Winterthur's history -- brought the Campaign for Winterthur to over 75 percent of its $50 million goal.


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