Winifred Needler

Canadian Egyptologist; she was born in Weimar, Germany, 14 June 1904, daughter of George Henry N., Professor of German at the University of Toronto, and Mary Winifred Chisholm; she studied at the University of Toronto, 1921-26, graduating with a BA with honours in Modern Languages and Philosophy in 1926, the Ontario College of Art for one year, and the School of Fine Arts and Crafts in Boston, 1928-30; she worked as a commercial artist until she joined the staff of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology as a draughtsman/ cataloguer, 1935; she concentrated on the Egyptian collection and in 1938-9 spent a year on a fellowship at Yale University studying Egyptian with Bull; she devoted herself to identifying and classifying the Egyptian collection and was especially interested in predynastic and early dynastic antiquities; in 1947 she was appointed Deputy Keeper of the Near Eastern Department and became Keeper in 1951; on the division of the department in 1966 she became Curator of Egyptian Antiquities until 1970; on her retirement she was designated Curator Emeritus; Special Lecturer in the Department of Fine Art, University of Toronto, 1953-65 and from l965-70 Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Toronto; in 1947-48 she was in Egypt with Amice Calverley at Abydos and excavated at Jericho in 1956, during which time she visited Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and European museums, and at Buhen in 1962-3; she was awarded a MA from the University of Toronto, 1961 and the degree of Doctor of Civil Law honoris causa at Bishop’s University, 1982; she published many articles on objects in the Toronto collection and museum guides; her chief monograph was Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in The Brooklyn Museum. 1984; she died in Toronto, 5 Sept. 1987.

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