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John H.B. Knowlton

Waterford - John H.B. Knowlton, 99, died at home in Waterford on Friday, Dec. 16, 2013.

He was born on June 10, 1914, in New York City, the son of Clifford Freeman Knowlton, a telephone company executive, and Isabelle (Leavens) Knowlton. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1936 and then entered graduate school in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. After a brief period teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy immediately upon the American entry into World War II and served throughout the war, principally in the Pacific.

Returning to N.Y.U. to complete his Ph.D. after the war, he there met and married Joan Aldrich; the couple departed for a year's honeymoon and art study in Italy in 1948-49. Upon return to the United States, Knowlton taught successively at Michigan State University, the University of Iowa and Finch College in New York, before joining the faculty of Connecticut College in 1967. He taught there until retirement in 1983, introducing film studies to the curriculum in addition to his instruction in art history.

After retirement, he continued to enjoy the life of the campus and the company of colleagues, and was able to devote more time to painting, both in Connecticut and at his summer house on Cape Cod. Knowlton exhibited at the Lyme Art Association and the Mystic Art Association, of which he was an artist member. Until 2009, he travelled extensively in Europe and also returned to the sea for several cruises.

Predeceased by his wife, Joan A. Knowlton; he is survived by a son, Frederick C.F. Knowlton of Waterford; and a niece, Penelope K. Riggio.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in Harkness Chapel at Connecticut College, New London.

Published in The Day on Mar. 16, 2014
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