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Gari Melchers


Centurion, 1911–1932

Full Name Julius Garibaldi Melchers

Born 11 August 1860 in Detroit, Michigan

Died 30 November 1932 in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania

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Proposed by Francis Davis Millet and Samuel Isham

Elected 4 November 1911 at age fifty-one

Archivist’s Note: President of the Century Association, 1931–1932

Proposer of:

Century Memorial

To the Century, the two years during which Gari Melchers presided over the fortunes of the Club will always hold a place of their own in Club-house reminiscence. He was a kind of president not altogether usual. His undoubted application of driving force to the interests of the Club was effected through friendly persuasion and co-operation, never through official mandate. No one was readier to seek counsel, no one less arbitrary in ideas; yet somehow his quietly outlined purposes became the program of the Club, artistically and socially. No individual Centurion could be more modest in appraising his own capacity. An admirable presiding officer, exceedingly apt at brief and sententious observations from the chair when occasion called for them, dispatching the business of the evening smoothly and always in an atmosphere of quiet humor, his associates will none the less remember his frequent insistence that some other officer of the Club ought to take the chair, so that the meeting might be conducted in proper parliamentary form. The Club will not soon cease to associate with its monthly gatherings the cheerfulness of that handsome face with the gray hair and the ready smile.

In many respects the ending of Gari Melchers’ life-story was peculiarly fortunate and happy. In his own line of painting he had reached the top; his work was recognized and applauded in all of the world’s great galleries. He had received high personal honors from home and foreign academies and governments. In the Legion of Honor he was “officier”; Puvis de Chavannes had pinned on Gari Melchers’ coat the original cross of “chevalier.” The Academie des Beaux Arts had conferred on him the rare distinction of corresponding member. In his native land, he had won not only high distinction in his art but the personal regard and affection of a wide acquaintance, and perhaps his selection as president of the Century Club, with individual esteem of all the Century’s membership, was a fitting culmination. There was little to be added to the achievement of so brilliant a career. But the remembrance which will live after him in the Century is not only of his sure artistic genius but of the cordial and wholly unaffected manner, the warm grasp of the hand, the sense of personal liking which made an evening brighter to every one that had talked with him.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1933 Century Association Yearbook