North American Scholar

WALTON, Mary Alice

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1865-01-13
  • Born City: Lawrence
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: George A. & Electa Lincoln W.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1954-01-26
  • Death City: Boston
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Education:

    A.B. Smith, 1887; Ph.D. Cornell, 1892; study at Leipzig, 1892-3; ASCSA, 1895-6, 1910-1; Radcliffe, 1898-1900; ASCSR, 1903-4; AAR, 1922-3.

  • Professional Experience:

    Class, tchr. Mrs. Thorpe's Sch. for Girls (Worcester, MA), 1888-90; Dr. Sachs' Sch. for Girls (New York), 1893-5; instr. anc. art Wellesley, 1896-8; instr. Lat. & anc. art, 1898-1900; instr. to prof. Lat. & arch., 1898-1933; chair Lat. dept., 1916-7, 1925-32; pres. CANE, 1914-5; adv. counc. AAR, 1928-32.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Cult of Asklepios" (Cornell, 1892); printed, CSCP 3 (Boston, 1894); reissued as Asclepios: the Cult of the Greek God of Medicine (Chicago, 1979).

  • Publications:

    "Some Transformations of Antiquity," The Wellesley Magazine 8 (1900) 159-65; " 'Calynthus' or Calamis," AJA 8 (1904) 460-2; "The Classics as a Means of Training in English," CANE Bulletin 1 (1906) 29-31; "An Unpublished Amphora and an Eye Cylix signed by Amasis in the Boston Museum," AJA 11 (1907) 150-9, Plates XII-XIII; Review of Mrs. Strong's Roman Sculpture from Augustus to Constantine, CJ 3 (1907-8) 291-2; "Painted Marbles from Thessaly," Art and Archaeology 4 (1916) 47-53; "A Polyclitan Statue at Wellesley College," AJA 22 (1918) 44-53, Plate I; "The Date of the Arch of Constantine," MAAR 4 (1924) 169-180, Plates LXIII-LXIV.

  • Notes:

    Alice Walton, classicist and archaeologist, was prominent among the first generation of American women who combined a close knowledge of the ancient sites with teaching in a women's college. In Athens and Rome, especially in Rome in 1923, she assembled her teaching collection of coins and small antiquities. Her lively teaching in comedy and satire, and her vividly presented lectures on archaeology, made her a well-known figure on the Wellesley campus. After her retirement she continued to maintain a vigorous interest in the college and the classics. Shortly after her death, her younger colleague Margaret Taylor wrote, "She suffered fools not gladly in the least, although without rancour. There was a lift—compounded somehow of gaiety, gallantry and wit in her own special proportions." Indeed her legacy to the classics at Wellesley survives today. Her remarkable scholarly library makes up a considerable part of the departmental holdings in archaeology and topography, and her splendid coin collection is used in teaching. Students continue to learn from her pots, small bronzes, and marble samples. Miss Walton was one of the earliest members of the Classical Association of New England. She read a paper at the first meeting of the association, and served as an early president.

  • Sources:

    AJA 58 (1954) 154; NYTimes (27 Jan. 1954) 27; Smith Coll. archives; Margaret E. Taylor, Wellesley Alumnae Magazine (May 1954) 225; Wellesley Archives; WomWWA 850.

  • Author: Katherine A. Geffcken