May 15, 1920 – April 30, 2009
Courtesy of: Van Schaack Family
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Margaret van Schaack was a daughter of Dr. Daniel Caldwell Donald and his wife Annie Hargrove. Educated at Duke University, she did graduate studies in Interior Design at The New York School of Design with further studies in Conservation and Art History at Oxford University, (Trinity College), University of Florence (Italy), Yale University, and Cornell University.
As a researcher, writer, consultant, and skilled curator, she worked in association with a number of museums in both the US and Europe. This impressive list includes the Uffizi Gallery, the Yale Art Gallery, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lockwood-Mathews Museum, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The National Endowment of the Arts, The British National Trust, The Allied Bank International, the Swiss Institute of Art, and the United Nations. At the time of her death, and the age of 88, she was continuing extensive research for a book on Leonardo da Vinci that began while she was at the Uffizi.
She wrote many articles on art, paintings and 19th century furniture which were published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Antiquities Magazine, Connoisseur, Interior Design, Newhouse Publications, and Whitney Publications.
She was a member several national and international boards of the arts including New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
In 1977, after the untimely death of her daughter, she established at the University of Virginia the Anne Hope van Schaack Essay Contest for the best essay on the “Age of Jefferson.”
Besides her expertise in the arts, she had a lifetime of broad interests that included earning a pilot’s license in her young adult years, playing tennis, and papermaking. A lover of beauty and a collector of fine art books, she was proud of her family heritage and was an intriguing conversationalist, knowledgeable in a broad expanse of topics.
She was preceded in death by her husband Harry C. van Schaack and her daughter Anne Hope van Schaack Hopkins. Survivors are her son, Christopher Colford van Schaack of Edinburgh, Scotland, and her two grandsons, Justin ten Haaf and Manolis ten Haaf of The Netherlands.
The Museum of Hounds and Hunting North America benefitted greatly from Mrs. van Schaack’s extensive curatorial skills practiced at several of the world’s most prestigious museums. We were honored by her presence on the Advisory Board and her passing means the loss of both a good friend and an able advisor.