Duncan Collins Hooker Collection

This collection of Peruvian pots gets its name from Farmington’s Duncan Hooker (1885-1953). Duncan was a direct descendant of Hartford founder Rev. Thomas Hooker and also a descendent of famous patriot Nathan Hale. Duncan Hooker was the son of William Augustus Hooker. After fighting in the Civil War, William Hooker graduated from Columbia in 1866 and went on to travel across the Americas and England studying geology and advising mining engineers as a Columbia professor, member of the United States Geological Survey and member of the firm Hooker and Lawrence. It is likely that during his time in Peru William acquired these artifacts. William Hooker and his family retired to a home in Farmington in 1898, where he passed away in 1921. His widow Elizabeth Work Hooker sold their house - known as “The Pilgrim Path” to a young man named James T. Soby in 1935. Soby worked at the Wadsworth Atheneum from 1928-1938 before becoming affiliated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1940. It is possible that Duncan Hooker donated the collection to the Connecticut Historical Society housed at the Wadsworth Atheneum through this connection to Soby. As part of the Connecticut Historical Society collections, the Mitchelson, Bates and Hooker collections were transferred to the Connecticut State Library in 1950. These collections were still on display in the early 1970s. The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History acquired these collections from the State Library in 1996.
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