Putting the pieces in place: The collecting practices of Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This thesis offers an examination of the meaning and implications of the collecting of Classical antiquities as exemplified by the activities undertaken in the late nineteenth century by Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928) under the auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This examination will consider the significance of Warren's activity from a variety of perspectives, and will depend in this consideration on information gathered from several theoretical models. The disparate motivations and purposes of collecting and collections render them resistant to rigidly unilateral consideration, encouraging such a conflux of methodological approaches. Emphasis will be placed on the notion and articulation of desire as manifested in the systematic amassing of artifacts, with the purpose of distinguishing between the aims of the private collector and those of the public or institutional collection. The historical narrative of Warren's practice will be situated in the broader context of collecting of Classical art as a part of the nineteenth-century American impulse to compile representative institutional collections of Classical antiquities, as exemplified by that held at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.