Anna Caulfield McKnight

Pages 297-299 - Anna Caulfield McKnight, daughter of the late John and Esther (Egan) Caulfield and widow of Honorable William F. McKnight, finds satisfaction in reverting to the city of Grand Rapids as the place of her nativity and by her personality and culture has won prestige both in the United States and abroad, as art critic and as a lecturer on art and travels. In her work she has gained high repute and has signally honored her home city and state. On the other pages of this work appear brief memorial tributes to her father and also her husband, so that a repetition of the data is not demanded in the present review. Mrs. McKnight was born in Grand Rapids and here her earlier educational discipline was received in private schools. Thereafter she was a student in turn in Sacred Heart Academy in the city of Detroit and in Radcliffe College, affiliated with historic Harvard University. Her splendid powers of observation and absorption have enabled her to profit in the highest degree from the exceptional advantages that have been hers along the line of study and travel in America, Europe and the Orient. Thus it is to be noted that in the domain of art and literary study and criticism, it was her privilege to pass six years of study in the studios, galleries and libraries of London, Paris, Florence and Rome. In the Eternal City she studied under the direction of Commendatore Da Rossi, the distinguished archaeologist, and there also she had the privilege of being received in private audience by the late Pope Leo XIII, and in later years by Popes Benedict XV and Pius XI. Her travels and studies have been extended also into Oriental countries, and her broad and vivid culture is of comprehensive and authoritative order, the while she has had a very wide acquaintanceship with men and women of distinction, both in the United States and abroad. On subjects of art and civics Mrs. McKnight has lectured in Paris and London, and many of the large cities of the United States. She was chosen a member of the department fine arts at the Paris exposition of 1900, where she gave the closing address of the municipal art congress. Prior to her marriage Mrs. McKnight had lectured also before the late President and Mrs. McKinley, members of his cabinet and guest, and at the invitation of Ambassador Cambon had delivered an address at the French Embassy in the city of Washington, D.C. She has appeared also before the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences; the National Arts Club, New York; the Copley Society and Boston Art Club, of Boston; the Chicago Art Institute; Vassar College, and the leading women’s clubs of the United States, including her address before the biennial assembly, in Denver, of the General Federation of Women’s Club. Through appointment by Michigan governors Mrs. Knight was a delegate to the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, Washington, D.C., 1915; to the Panama-Philippine Islands Exposition Congress, San Francisco, in 1915, to the National Civic Federation, Washington, 1911-12; to the American Civic Association, 1912; to the Fifth National Conservation Congress, 1913; National Rivers and Harbors Congress, 1913; fourteenth and fifteenth annual Vocational Art and Industrial Federation Conventions, Chicago, 1914-15; fourth convention of the League of Compulsory Education, Detroit, 1914; and the Art Congress in Paris, France, in 1921. Mrs. Knight is a member of the following named national organizations: American Civic Association, American Federation of Arts, Drama League of America; Federation of the Alliance Francaise, and the Better Furnished Home Movement. In the World war period Mrs. Knight was in service as speaker of the Michigan unit of the Women’s Council of National Defense, Liberty Loans and Food Conservation. In cultural and civic affairs in her home city of Grand Rapids, Mrs. Knight has like wise made her influence significantly and benignantly felt. Here she was president of the Ladies’ Literary Club three terms when Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt and Taft addressed the club; honorary president and organizer of Alliance Francaise and was president of it for seven terms. She is honorary president of the Drama League and the president of it for eight years; former chairman of Civic Art Committee of the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce; past director of Michigan State Federation of Women’s Clubs, Women’s National Association of Commerce and was on the executive committee of the Women’s Department of the National Civic Federation. She is a director of the Women’s City Club, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, St. Mary’s Hospital, Family Service Association and is a corporate member of the Welfare Union. She is also a member of the following clubs: Lincoln Republican, Women’s City, Ladies’ Literary, St. Cecelia, Alliance Francaise, St. Andrew’s Women’s Clubs and the Art Association. Upon the death of Mr. Knight she succeeded him as president of the White River Timber Company, vice-president of the Miami Lumber Company and secretary and treasurer of the Dickie Mining Company. In these connections she has shown characteristic loyalty and resourcefulness, and has proved that a women may be an influential exponent of cultural service and yet be a successful and progressive executive. Mrs. Knight is a member of St, Andrew’s Catholic Church in her native city and maintains her home at 71 North Lafayette avenue.

Transcriber:  Ann Ed
Created: 22 October 2003