Artine Artinian ’31

Artine Artinian ’31 died on November 19, 2005, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Born on December 8, 1907, in Pazardjick, Bulgaria, he came to this country in 1920 with his family. He prepared for college at Attleboro (MA) High School and became a member of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in 1931, he spent a year in France, where he took courses at the University of Paris, the University of Grenoble, and the University of Poitiers, with a diploma from the University of Paris. He earned a master of arts degree from Harvard University in 1933 and then spent two years at Columbia University, from which he received his Ph.D. degree in 1941. In 1935, he joined the faculty at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he taught French until his retirement in 1964. In 1948, he was decorated by the French government as Officier d’Academie de la Legion d’Honneur. He received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Bowdoin in 1966, and the citation said, in part, “…you epitomize the courage and fearlessness, the grit and determination characteristic of your Armenian ancestors, long victims of oppression, in rising from bootblack to scholar…An Officier d’Academie of France for your ‘contributions to cultural relations between France and the Unites States,’ you have become the world’s authority on Guy de Maupassant, whose works form the heart of your magnificent collection of French literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which you freely and frequently lend to libraries throughout the country. But in your meticulous scholarship, you have retained a joyous love for life and all its beauty, and a never- ending zest for intellectual adventure.” Mr. Artinian was fictionalized by several authors, including Mary McCarthy and Gore Vidal. He collected manuscripts and documents by French authors, including unpublished works by Flaubert and Proust, and later sold the collection to the University of Texas. In his retirement, he collected portraits of artists and writers. He also received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2001 from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He was a Fellow in the American Council of Learned Societies. He was married in 1936 to Margaret Willard Woodbridge, who died in February of 2005, and is survived by two daughters, Ellen A. Strickland and Margaret A. Laske, both of Pittsburgh, PA; and a son Robert W. Artinian of Lake Worth, FL.