Dan Fellows Platt

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Dan Fellows Platt

Hon. Dan Fellows Platt
Born June 10, 1873
New York City
Died December 16, 1937
Englewood, New Jersey
Cause of death Pneumonia
Alma mater Princeton University
Known for Art collection and Mayor of Englewood
Spouse(s) Ethel Bliss Platt

Dan Fellows Platt (June 10, 1873 – December 16, 1937) was an archeologist, author, art collector and the Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey from 1904 to 1905.[1]


He was born on June 10, 1873. In the same year his family moved to Englewood, New Jersey. He graduated from Princeton University as the English Salutatorian of his class in 1895. He studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Rome before earning his Bachelor of Laws from New York Law School and Master of Arts from Princeton. He practiced law until 1900, the same year he married Ethel Bliss (a future U.S. tennis champion) and decided to devote time to studying Renaissance art. Dan and Ethel built an Italian Palazzo house named Ambercrof and made regular trips to Europe.[2] He invested significantly in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was part owner of both the Arlington Hotel and the New York Hotel there.[1]

Mayor of Englewood

Platt entered politics in 1900 as leader of a citizen commission opposed to the installation of electric light poles. When the poles were installed, Platt took an ax and chopped down the ones in front of his property.[1] Platt became a city councilor in Englewood in 1901. In September 1903, Platt defeated Daniel A. Currie to be the Democratic Party candidate for Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey. In the general election, he defeated Samuel J. Topping by 163 votes to become the mayor of Englewood from 1904-1905. Platt refused to be considered for reelection and went on a trip to Europe for the last month of his term.[3] Between 1909 and 1916 he was on the Democratic State Committee for New Jersey serving in various roles.[4] He was a delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention as a delegate for Woodrow Wilson.[1]


He died on December 16, 1937 in Englewood, New Jersey.

Art Collection

Dan Fellows Platt collected art for most of his adult life, beginning with Roman archaeological (coins, ancient glass, etc.) pieces in college. His early collection was focused mainly on Italian Renaissance paintings from Siena and Umbria, inspired by Princeton professor Allan Marquand. Later, particularly after World War I, Platt shifted his focus to drawings and collecting from outside of Italy. During this period, he collected work from Guercino, Luca Cambiasi, Théophile Steinlen, Alphonse Legros, John Flaxman, George Romney, and Amedeo Modigliani.[2] In 1938, when Platt died he left the collection to Ethyl for the remainder of her life and then requested that the collection go to Princeton University upon her death. In 1943, Ethyl supplied the collection of drawings and renaissance paintings to Princeton University.[2] The first public display of the collection selected 243 pieces as important for display.[5] Platt was a recognized expert on Italian Renaissance paintings, particularly from Siena, which led to multiple lectures at colleges around the country and being named chair of the Visiting Committee of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.[2] It was said that his collection of photographs of art pieces was the largest in America numbering over 400,000.[1]


  • Through Italy with Car and Camera (1907)
  • Automobiling in Europe Before the War (1916)



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Dan F. Platt, 65, Archaeologist; Former Mayor of Englewood, an Art Collector and Author, Dies at His Home.". New York Times. May 7, 1938. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0911FC3E5C1B7A93C5A9178ED85F4C8385F9. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ross, Barbara T. (2000). "A Prime Teaching Collection at Princeton: The Platt and Mather Drawings". Master Drawings 38 (3): 303–310. 
  3. Sterling, Adeline Whellock (1922). The Book of Englewood. Mayor and City Council of the Town of Englewood, New Jersey. http://books.google.com/books?id=Lw0WAAAAYAAJ&dq=Mayor+Dan+Fellows+Platt&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  4. Sackett, William, ed (1918–1919). New Jersey's First Citizens. Paterson, New Jersey: J.J. Scannel. 
  5. McMahon, A. Phillip (1931). "The Dan Fellows Platt Collection of Drawings". Parnassus 3 (8): 14–15.