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NORWEB, EMERY MAY HOLDEN

NORWEB, EMERY MAY HOLDEN

NORWEB, EMERY MAY HOLDEN (30 Nov. 1895-27 Mar. 1984), benefactress, officer, and trustee of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART, was born to Albert Fairchild and Katherine Davis Holden. Norweb was also the granddaughter of LIBERTY E. HOLDEN, an early benefactor of the CMA and founder of the PLAIN DEALER. In 1917 she married R. HENRY NORWEB, who had joined the U.S. diplomatic service in 1916. Over the next 30 years, Norweb's diplomatic career took them to Japan, the Netherlands, Chile, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and several other countries. During this period, Mrs. Norweb furthered her study of art and languages. While in Japan in the 1920s, she became interested in Oriental art and began acquiring pieces, which she eventually donated to the Cleveland Museum of Art. While living in South America during the 1930s, she began collecting pre-Columbian art when there was little interest in that genre. Her acquisitions later formed the nucleus of the museum's pre-Columbian collection. When the Norwebs returned to Cleveland in 1948, Mrs. Norweb became an active member of the museum's accessions committee. In 1949 she joined the museum's board of trustees. In 1962 she became the first woman president of the art museum; one of 2 women holding such a position at that time in the U.S. Norweb was a trustee of the GARDEN CTR. and a chairperson of the American Numismatic Society of London. She donated many valuable English coins to the art museum.

Norweb had three children: R. Henry, Jeanne Katherine, and Albert. She was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.