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BICKFORD, GEORGE P.

BICKFORD, GEORGE P. (28 Nov. 1901-14 Oct. 1991), a Cleveland attorney, became a noted authority on Indian and Far Eastern art through the process of acquiring an extensive personal collection in the field. A native of Berlin, N.H., he was raised in Washington, D.C. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1922, he traveled to China, where he studied Chinese and taught in a missionary school in Shanghai. Bickford then returned to earn a degree from Harvard Law School, graduating in 1926 and joining the Cleveland law firm later known as ARTER & HADDEN. In 1933 he married Clevelander Clara Gehring(see CLARA GEHRING BICKFORD) (25 Sept. 1903-13 Dec. 1985), a piano instructor at the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC. Mrs. Bickford, who later became president of the Women's Committee of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA and of the Women's City Club Foundation (see WOMEN'S CITY CLUB), acquired through the years an impressive collection of musical autographs. Bickford conceived his own interest in Indian art as a result of Army service in the Judge Advocate General's Dept. during WORLD WAR II, where he served in the India-Burma Theater. Upon his return, the collection he had begun was displayed in the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART in 1946 and later in 1975. He made bi-annual postwar trips to India and in 1964 was appointed honorary consul for India for the Cleveland area. For 35 years, he also served as trustee for the Cleveland Museum of Art. Active in Republican politics, Bickford was a founder of the Republican Ripon Club and served as general counsel to the Federal Housing Administration in 1958-59. Long a resident of CLEVELAND HTS., he was survived by a daughter, Louise G. Boyd.