- 1917 - 2000
Audrey Hawthorn was born November 25, 1917 in California. She was raised in New York City, and obtained a BA in 1939 at New College of Columbia University. Her thesis entitled "A curriculum for community studies in Habersham County Georgia", was completed under the supervision of Dr. Morris R. Mitchell, Professor, Community Planning. During 1939-1941 Audrey Hawthorn finished a thesis entitled "Socio Economic Appeals in Mass and Class Media", and was granted an M.A. degree. She also attended Yale Graduate School in Anthropology from 1940-1941. In 1941, Audrey and her husband, Dr. Harry Hawthorn, were given a joint fellowship in Latin American studies for coordinating the office of American Affairs and the Institute of Human Relations, Yale. Audrey Hawthorn was also a psychiatric case worker with the Family Services Agency in Yonkers, New York, in 1946 and 1947. Audrey came to the University of British Columbia in 1947 with her husband, who was appointed UBC's first anthropologist. She was appointed to the position of Honourary Curator. Audrey Hawthorn, a specialist in primitive art, was granted a regular appointment as curator in 1956. She was the first person, and the University of British Columbia the first institution in Canada, to begin the formal training of professional museum staff. From 1948 students from the Department of Anthropology voluntarily completed most of the work in the museum. By 1955, non-credit courses were offered to these students in order that they could actively pursue museum careers. In 1963, a credit course, Anthropology 331, Primitive Art, was added to the curriculum and in 1965 Anthropology 431, Museum Principles and Methods. For a number of years, these two courses were the only ones of their nature in Canada. Students were able to learn a great deal about the day-to-day operation of a museum by working with staff to complete a wide variety of activities. In recognition of her teaching responsibilities, Audrey Hawthorn was appointed Assistant Professor in 1966 and Associate Professor in 1971. Her most important publications are a study of Indian Arts and Crafts, commissioned by the Royal Commission on Arts, Letters and Sciences in 1951; "People of the Potlatch, the Art of the Kwakiutl Indians" and "A Labour of Love" (a history of the Museum of Anthropology). Due to deteriorating health, Audrey discontinued her museum duties in 1977. She formally retired in 1985. Audrey Hawthorn was awarded an honourary LL.D from the University of Brandon in May of 1984; received the Order of Canada in April of 1986; and an Honourary LL.D from UBC in 1986. Audrey Hawthorn died on November 18, 2000.