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Conway, Sir William Martin

CONWAY, SIR WILLIAM MARTIN (1856- ), English art critic and mountaineer, son of the Rev. William Conway, afterwards canon of Westminster, was born at Rochester, and was educated at Repton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He became interested in early printing and engraving, and in 1880 made a tour of the principal libraries of Europe in pursuit of his studies, the result appearing in 1884 as a History of the Woodcutters of the Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century. His later works on art included Early Flemish Artists (1887); The Literary Remains of Albrecht Dürer (1889); The Dawn of Art in the Ancient World (1891), dealing with Chaldaean, Assyrian and Egyptian art; Early Tuscan Artists (1902). From 1884 to 1887 he was professor of art at University College, Liverpool; and in 1901-1904 he was Slade professor of the fine arts at Cambridge. He was knighted in 1895. Sir Martin Conway early became a member of the Alpine Club, of which he was president from 1902 to 1904. In 1892 he beat the climbing record by ascending to a height of 23,000 ft. in the Himalayas in the course of an exploring and mountaineering expedition undertaken under the auspices of the Royal Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association. In 1896-1897 he explored the interior of Spitsbergen, and in the next year he explored and surveyed the Bolivian Andes, climbing Sorata (21,500 ft.) and Illimani (21,200 ft.). He also ascended Aconcagua (23,080 ft.) and explored Tierra del Fuego. At the Paris exhibition of 1900 he received the gold medal for mountain surveys, and the founder's medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1905. His expeditions are described in his Climbing and Exploration in the Kara-Koram Himalayas (1894), The Alps from End to End (1895), The First Crossing of Spitsbergen (1897), The Bolivian Andes (1901), etc.; No Man's Land, a History of Spitsbergen from ... 1596 ... was published in 1906.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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