- The life of Jacques de Morgan
- Reassessing a historical figure
A solitary retirement
After his resignation from the French archeological mission in Persia, Jacques de Morgan retired, first to Paris and then to the South of France, where he spent his time publishing surveys and manuals. Abandoned by his family, who disapproved of his second marriage to a woman of inferior social standing, weakened by illness, and living in increasing poverty, Jacques de Morgan died in 1924.
Jacques de Morgan - forgotten?
Although the scientific quality of his work was recognised in his lifetime, Jacques de Morgan stood outside the mainstream of archaeological research. He also never held an official post in France, which would have secured him legitimacy and a lasting reputation.
Moreover, Morgan's work, which straddled a number of disciplines, did not constitute a coherent whole, which would have won him the support of a community of researchers specialising in the same area.
Morgan’s published works and collections have long been studied and used to advantage by curators at the Musée d’Archéologie nationale, including Claude Schaeffer and Jean-Pierre Mohen. His collection continues to play an important role in the museum’s research, restoration and development programmes.
Nicole Chevalier's work on the administrative aspects of French archaeological research in the Near East has also stimulated interest in Morgan, both personally and professionally.
In 2008, a conference dedicated to Morgan led to the publication of the first survey of the man and his work, helping restore his reputation and shedding light on his complex character.