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Paul J. Sachs (1878–1965)

Paul Joseph Sachs was born in New York City on November 24, 1878, although his year of birth is often recorded as 1879. He studied art history at Harvard University, graduating with Robert Woods Bliss in the class of 1900. After working as a partner in his family’s financial firm, Goldman Sachs, he became assistant director of the Fogg Museum at Harvard University in 1915 and associate director from 1923 to 1945. With Edward W. Forbes, he developed at Harvard one of the early museum studies courses in the United States. Sachs was one of the founding members of the Museum of Modern Art and served as trustee between 1929 and 1938. Also in the 1930s, he advised Mildred Barnes Bliss and Robert Woods Bliss on their collection and on the creation of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, of which, between 1940 and 1944, he was the chairman of the Administrative Committee and the codirector (with Edward W. Forbes) of the museum. He died on February 17, 1965, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Agnes Mongan, “Paul Joseph Sachs (1879–1965),” Art Journal 25, no. 1 (Autumn 1965): 50, 52, 54.