Margaret Alexander (née Ames) was born on May 21, 1916 in Massachusetts and died on December 19, 1996 in Iowa. She devoted her life and scholarship to the study of Roman and Late Antique mosaics in Tunisia.
Alexander began her relationship with Dumbarton Oaks as a Junior Fellow from 1942 to1945. In 1943, she was assigned to conduct research on Tunisia, along with Wilhelm Koehler, as part of the American Defense, Harvard Group project. To support America’s war effort during World War II, each Junior Fellow was assigned a country and was responsible for creating a list of monuments with descriptions stating their importance and reasons for their protection and preservation. In 1958, Alexander received her Ph.D. from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts with her dissertation, “Early Christian Tomb Mosaics of North Africa.” In the early 1960s, she joined the University of Iowa, where she spent the rest of her academic career in the departments of Classics and Art and Art History.
Throughout her career, Alexander gained respect and distinction in her field. In 1994, she was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit from the Tunisian government in honor of her work in the region. She also served in professional organizations, such as the Association Internationale pour l’Étude de la Mosaїque Antique, the Iowa Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics.
Additional information on Alexander's time as a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks can be accessed at the Dumbarton Oaks Archives.
OTHER CMT TEAM MEMBERS
Over the course of the project, Margaret Alexander was joined by co-directors and associate directors, such as Mongi Ennaifer, Aïcha Ben Abed-Bhen Khader, Christine Kondoleon, and Guy P. R. Métraux. Other team members included Marie Spiro, Stephen Zwirn, Robert Alexander, and Susan Stevens, along with many other professors, graduate students, and Tunisian assistants. In addition, the team employed professionals to contribute their expertise—photographers, conservators, and architects. For example, Edith Dietze was employed as a mosaic conservator and Frank C. Miller was employed as the project's architect at Carthage.
The project also required support from various institutions, including the University of Iowa, New York University, the Smithsonian Institution, Dumbarton Oaks, the Institut National d’Archeologie et d’Arts of Tunisia, and the Institut National de Patrimoine of Tunisia.