Abstract:
Collecting was one of the mechanisms through which women empowered themselves at the end of the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth. Through collecting they created networks with other women and established their presence in a public sphere from which they were habitually excluded because of their gender. In this article I flesh out these issues by focusing on the career of Isabel Frances Dodd (1857–1943), a specialist in art and archaeology who worked as a professor at the American College for Girls in Constantinople. The article is divided into two parts. First, I provide an overview of the historical context and the sources available for approaching the case study. Second, I concentrate on one of the main features of Dodd’s professional life—namely, her role as a collector of antiquities. In this part, particular attention is devoted to the largest project she launched: the creation of a museum.