Dickins, Guy

Date born: 1881

Place born: ?

Date died: 1916

Place died: Pozières, France

Classical scholar of Greek sculpture. Dickins initially considered going into the British civil service in India before turning to classical studies at Oxford University. In 1904 he was sent to the British School in Athens as a Craven Fellow. He was chief excavator of the ancient city of Thalamae (modern Thalmes) as part of their Lakonia Survey in 1904 under Richard McGillivray Dawkins (1871-1955), director of the School. He helped excavate the temple of Artemis Orthia in Sparta. He was assisted by, among others, the School's librarian and later an eminent Oxford ancient scholar, Marcus Tod (1878-1974). Dickins published his findings in the Annual of the British School at Athens for 1905. He married Mary Hamilton, an Oxford scholar also working at the British School. He returned to England in 1909 to accept an appointment as a Fellow at St. John's College, Oxford, where he lectured in ancient history. In 1912 the British School in Athens published a catalog of the Acropolis Museum at request of the Greek archaeological authorities. Dickins wrote the work with Stanley Casson (q.v.) and the archaeologist Dorothy Lamb Brooke, Lady Nicholson (1887-1967). He became a University Lecturer in Classical Archaeology in 1914, but before he could begin, Dickins joined the (British) army during World War I where he was commissioned as a captain placed in charge of a unit of the King's Royal Rifles Corps. He was shot and killed in Pozières, France, while assisting two wounded soldiers during the battle of the Somme. Dickins had collected material for a history of Greek art he hoped to write. At his death, his widow posthumously published it as Hellenistic Sculpture, 1920. His widow later married the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Curator of Classical Art, Lacey D. Caskey (q.v.).

Some sense of the broader work on classical sculpture Dickins envisioned may be gleaned in his 1908 article for the Burlington Magazine. Dickins clearly envisioned his book to be a work of art history, as evidenced by his publishing in an art journal, unlike much of classical scholarship at the time which confined their publications to strictly archaeological organs.

Home Country: United Kingdom

Sources: Gardner, Percy. "Preface." Dickins, Guy. Hellenistic Sculpture. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1920, pp. vii-ix; [obituary:] Bates, William N. "Necrology." American Journal of Archaeology 21 no. 1 (January 1917): 92.

Bibliography: [complete bibliography:] "Published Works of the Author." in, Dickins, Guy. Hellenistic Sculpture. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1920, pp. 89-94; and Casson, Stanley, and Nicholson, Dorothy Lamb Brooke. Catalogue of the Acropolis Museum. 2 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press/Acropolis Museum, 1912-1921; Hellenistic sculpture. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1920; "The Art of Sparta." Burlington Magazine 14 no. 68 (November 1908): 64-84.