Gertrude Howland— 2003 Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award

Award Citation:

The Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award of the Archaeological Institute of America recognizes volunteers who have furthered the work of the Institute and have improved its effectiveness through their sustained exceptional service. The Institute is very pleased to present this year’s award to Gertrude duPont Howland in recognition of her many years of service as trustee on the national board as well as her many contributions to her local AIA societies.  Gertrude exemplifies such service and has been a pioneer in establishing new directions for the AIA.  She first became an AIA trustee in 1968 and served until 1970.  But Gertrude is especially distinguished as our first Society Trustee, a position she held from 1984 through 1990.  This position was created particularly to address the needs of our lay membership in our now 102 local societies and to link the local chapters more closely to the national organization.  Gertrude laid such a firm foundation for this position that in 1993 the AIA designated a special Vice President for Societies that continues to be an important part of our organization today. 

While a trustee, Gertrude also had the vision to establish our first book award in 1989, the James R. Wiseman Distinguished Book Award that continues to bring prestige to the Institute. As chairman of the Tours Committee in 1988-1989, she further developed this area of our outreach. In addition, she served on the Development and Membership Committees. Her continued enthusiasm for archaeology, her sense of service and her generosity both to archaeology and to the AIA over the years are an inspiration to us all.

But Gertrude is much more than a volunteer archaeologist.  She has achieved for herself a reputation as an international conservator, specializing in the restoration of ancient pottery.  She has worked for 32 seasons on 9 different archaeological sites from Majorca to Jerusalem.  Gertrude began her long career in conservation in 1965 with Ross Holloway from Brown University who was then working on an excavation in the Athenian Agora.  She worked with him several more seasons in southern Italy at Satrianum and at Buccino where her work is still exhibited in the local museum.  From Italy she went to Jerusalem and restored the pottery from Ashdod, later returning to Italy to work at Cosa.  She spent three seasons at Split with Sheila McNally, 3 seasons in Sardinia with Miriam Balmuth, and 14 seasons in Majorca, Spain, with Dan Woods on material from Pollentia.  She also helped establish the local museum there where her work is exhibited. 

Throughout her career Gertrude also found time to be active in her local AIA society, first in Greenwich, Conn. and now in Richmond, Va., where she returned in 1990 to this city where she was born. She has served as president of the Richmond Society, is currently their Hospitality Chairman and serves on its board.  Many speakers lecturing in Richmond have enjoyed her gracious southern hospitality.

On the personal side, Gertrude has raised three sons, and worked for 50 years contributing to the civic life of Greenwich, Conn.   In recognition of these accomplishments, the Greenwich public library published a book about her civic work entitled “Missions Accomplished”.

Gertrude duPont Howland is unique.   The Institute is delighted today to recognize her unique and generous contributions.  She has enriched our organization as our first Society Trustee.  Through her vision, dedication and enthusiasm she laid the groundwork for this important position.  Gertrude’s innate social and diplomatic skills and sense of fun have made the AIA a warmer, more hospitable and effective organization.  Working with local societies, she helped establish as part of the annual meeting the hospitality we all now enjoy with informal places to gather, have refreshments and go on guided tours to local sites.  I do not believe that Gertrude has ever missed an annual meeting.  Her many friends over the years are delighted that she is receiving the AIA’s Distinguished Service Award today.


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