Lucy C. Turnbull

A white woman wearing short hair and glasses, looking downward; from a 1963 newspaper.

Lucy Curtis Turnbull (May 26, 1931 – April 21, 2019) was an American classics scholar, and director of the University of Mississippi Museums from 1983 to 1990.

Early life

Lucy Curtis Turnbull was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the daughter of Donald Turnbull and Lucy Taylor Turnbull. She earned a bachelor's degree at Bryn Mawr College in 1952 and both master's (1954) and doctoral degrees from Radcliffe College. She focused her doctoral research on geometric bronzes in Greece,[1] at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.[2]


As a young woman, Turnbull worked at Wellesley College as a museum assistant and art librarian. She also worked as an assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi in 1961, as a classics professor.[3] She was among the professors who spoke in favor racial integration at Ole Miss in 1962, when James Meredith enrolled at the school.[4][5] From 1983 to 1990, she was director of the university's museums.[6] In addition to the museum's collection of Greek and Roman objects,[7] she oversaw exhibits of the museum's diverse holdings, including materials related to Mississippi author William Faulkner,[8][9] and the art of Mississippi painter Theora Hamblett.[10]

Turnbull retired in 1990.[11] She spoke to community groups about archaeology,[12][13] and was a longtime Bible study teacher at a nearby Episcopalian church.[2]

Personal life

Turnbull died in Oxford, Mississippi in 2019, aged 87 years.[11]


  1. ^ American School of Classical Studies, Seventy-Sixth Annual Report (1956-1957): 23, 29.
  2. ^ a b "Obituary - Dr. Lucy C. Turnbull". The Oxford Eagle. 2019-04-23. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  3. ^ "In Memoriam: Dr. Lucy Turnbull". Department of Classics. 2019-04-24. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  4. ^ "Retired classics professor known for bravery and 'rare talent' in teaching". College of Liberal Arts. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  5. ^ Hamblin, Robert W. (2017-05-31). Living in Mississippi: The Life and Times of Evans Harrington. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-4968-1143-1.
  6. ^ "Turnbull new Ole Miss museum director". Clarion-Ledger. 1985-04-01. p. 15. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  7. ^ "University Students Interested in Archaeology". The Greenwood Commonwealth. 1963-02-18. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  8. ^ Beard, David (1986-10-28). "Development Disquiets Oxford". The Greenwood Commonwealth. p. 17. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  9. ^ Luter, Nell (1985-07-21). "Exhibit Complements Faulkner Event". Clarion-Ledger. p. 79. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  10. ^ Luter, Nell (1985-05-26). "Bryant Auction Aids Restoration of Hamblett Art". Clarion-Ledger. p. 103. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  11. ^ a b Newsom, Michael (2019-04-25). "UM Remembers Beloved Educator, Scholar and Civil Rights Champion". Ole Miss News. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
  12. ^ "Archaeologists to Hear Turnbull". The Clarksdale Press Register. 1975-05-14. p. 8. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via
  13. ^ "A look at the ancients". Clarion-Ledger. 1992-02-26. p. 34. Retrieved 2020-01-14 – via

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