Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-1984

Hide Profile

Kenneth John Conant (June 28, 1894 – March 3, 1984) was an American architectural historian and educator, who specialized in medieval architecture. Born in Neenah, Conant received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Harvard University in 1915. He was considered the academic heir of Herbert Langford Warren, a teacher at Harvard, and through him, of the art historians Charles Eliot Norton and John Ruskin. He served in the 42nd Infantry Division of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and was wounded in the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918. Conant later returned to Harvard. His dissertation on the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral was published as a monograph in 1926. In 1916, Denman Ross painted a portrait of Conant, now in the Harvard Art Museums.

Conant's professional focus was the study of the Cluny Abbey in France, which he excavated beginning in 1927, funded by his first of five separate Guggenheim Fellowships. He considered Cluny the preeminent accomplishment in all of architectural history. In 1940, a group of students, who studied under Conant, formed the Society of Architectural Historians under his influence. Conant taught architectural history at Harvard from 1924 to 1955, the year of his retirement.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-1984. Kenneth John Conant papers relating to Alfred Lunt, 1909-1977 Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers of Prentice Van Walbeck Duell, 1894-1960. Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Fitchen, John. John Fitchen papers, 1927-1989. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Misselwitz and Crawford family papers, 1870-1968. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Comstock, Ada Louise. Papers, 1818-1982 (inclusive), 1887-1982 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Duell, Prentice, 1894-1960. Papers of Prentice Van Walbeck Duell, 1894-1960 (inclusive). Harvard University, Fine Arts Library
referencedIn Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D Houghton Library
referencedIn Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959. Letter, 1934 Oct. 31, Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin [to] Professor Kenneth J. Conant, Professor of Architecture, Harvard University, Cambridge. Harvard University, Frances Loeb Library
referencedIn Papers of Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, ca. 1860-1969 (inclusive) Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Papers of Edward Waldo Forbes, 1867-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Papers of Paul J. Sachs, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museums. Archives
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Papers, 1925-1969 (bulk: 1937-1969) Houghton Library
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
referencedIn Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. Papers of John Coolidge and Agnes Mongan, 1909-2006. Harvard University Art Museum
referencedIn Myron Bement Smith collection, circa 1910-1970 Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
referencedIn Community Art Project records, 1932-1943 Rhode Island School of Design Archives.
referencedIn Cluny collection, 1927-1950 (bulk). Harvard University, Frances Loeb Library
referencedIn Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969. Papers, 1867-2005. Harvard University Art Museum
referencedIn John Fitchen papers, 1927-1989 Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Fogg Art Museum. Archives of the Fogg Art Museum, 1895-1985 (inclusive). Harvard University Art Museum
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-,. Visual Collections art and architecture postcards, 1920-1960 (bulk). Harvard University, Fine Arts Library
creatorOf Conant, Kenneth John, 1894-. Papers of Kenneth J. Conant, 1907-1975 (inclusive). Harvard University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Bliss, Robert Woods, 1875-1962 person
associatedWith Cluny (Benedictine abbey) corporateBody
associatedWith Community Art Project corporateBody
associatedWith Comstock, Ada Louise. person
correspondedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995 person
associatedWith Coolidge, John, 1913-1995. person
associatedWith Duell, Prentice, 1894-1960 person
associatedWith Duell, Prentice, 1894-1960. person
associatedWith Fitchen, John person
associatedWith Fitchen, John. person
associatedWith Fogg Art Museum. corporateBody
correspondedWith Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969 person
associatedWith Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969. person
correspondedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969 person
associatedWith Harvard Hall (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Dept. of Fine Arts corporateBody
associatedWith Houghton Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Lunt, Alfred, 1892- person
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965 person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
correspondedWith Smith, Myron Bement, 1897-1970 person
correspondedWith Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Cambridge MA US
Archaeology Societies, etc
Architecture, Romanesque
Architectural historians
Art historians


Birth 1894

Death 1984




Ark ID: w6pp9x0h

SNAC ID: 85397186