Chestertown, MD, March 14, 2002 — The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, the Department of Art, and the Art History Club at Washington College are proud to host Robert Duemling—Senior Fellow and Lecturer in the College's Department of Art, and former Director of the National Building Museum, Washington, DC—speaking on "Making Architecture American: Thomas Jefferson to Frank Lloyd Wright," Wednesday, March 20, 2002, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Casey Academic Center Forum. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Did any architects, particularly early in our nation's history, consciously set out to create "American" architecture? Have any done so since? And is there anything particularly "American" about what has been built in this country? Duemling will address these questions.
Duemling is a former career diplomat and museum director, now retired, devoting his time and energies to a variety of philanthropic projects. Duemling spent his youth in Ft. Wayne, IN, and San Diego, CA. He attended Yale University, earning a B.A. degree with honors in 1950, and an M.A. in 1953. In 1950, he was awarded a Henry Fellowship to study at Cambridge University, England, and from 1953 to 1957, Duemling served as an air intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, with the Pacific fleet and in Japan, attaining the rank of lieutenant (senior grade).
In 1957, Duemling entered the Foreign Service, commencing a 30-year career, specializing in political affairs and the East Asian region, with assignments in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching (Borneo), Osaka and Tokyo. He also served as executive assistant to the head of the East Asian Bureau of the State Department, and subsequently served in a similar capacity with the Deputy Secretary of State. Other postings abroad included Rome, Ottawa (deputy chief of mission, 1976-80), and as Ambassador to Suriname (1982-84).
During service in Washington, he was principal negotiator for assembling the foreign military components of the Sinai peacekeeping force (1981-82), and director of the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Organization (1985-87).
Duemling retired from the Foreign Service in 1987 to accept the position of President and Director of the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, a post he held for six and one-half years. His current philanthropic commitments include the National Gallery of Art (Vice Chairman, Trustees' Council), National Cathedral (Building and Grounds Committee), National Tennis Foundation (Trustee), Cafritz Foundation (Advisory Committee), Winterthur Museum and Gardens (Academic Affairs Committee), and the Washington National Monument Association. His former associations include the boards of Washington College and the American Friends of Canada.
Duemling is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, and a member of the Metropolitan and Alibi Clubs of Washington, and the Century Association of New York. He is married to the former Louisa duPont Copeland, and they reside in Washington, DC, and Worton, MD.