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Sickman, Maj. Laurence | Sizer, Maj. Theodore | Skelton, Dorothy G.S.

Sizer, Maj. Theodore  

Lt. Col., Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Officer (MFAA)

Yale University Art Gallery director, Theodore “Tubby” Sizer served with the MFAA during and following World War II. As one of the first officers selected by the Roberts Commission, he also aided Paul Sachs in the recommendation of other officers qualified to work with the MFAA. Sizer lent his expertise to both the European and Mediterranean Theaters, working in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and England. He was also the first chief of MFAA operations for Germany when the German Section of SHAEF was activated in 1944. For his service, he received the Corona d’Italia with the rank of Commendatore in 1945.

Sizer was graduated from Harvard in 1915, and served as a First Lieutenant in World War I. He received an honorary A.M. from Yale in 1931. After working for several years in the import-export business, Sizer first entered the museum world in 1922 when he was named curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1927, he embarked on his long career at Yale University, becoming an associate professor of the history of art. Sizer was named full professor in 1931, and also joined the Yale University Art Gallery in 1929 as an associate director. He became director of the museum in 1940, and retired from the university in 1947.

A man with a gregarious character, Sizer was well known for his walrus white mustache and flowing capes, and was often so enthused during lectures that he was once known to fall off his podium. It was estimated that his teaching reached nearly 2,500 students during his career. He maintained a variety of interests, including painting and weaving hooked-rugs. As an expert on heraldry, Sizer was even Yale’s first Pursuivant of Arms. He died in 1967 at the age of 75 in West Haven, Connecticut.


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