Canopic jars
A.V. Lane

A.V. LaneDr. Alvin Valentine Lane (1860--1938) was a prominent Dallas banker, scholar, and civic benefactor. Raised in New Orleans, he received his doctorate in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1882. Joining the faculty of the new University of Texas in 1883, he soon turned to business and co-founded in 1888 what became the First National Bank in Dallas, where he served as vice-president as of 1896. He was a prominent member in several banking associations, and served his community as treasurer of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, as director of both the Dallas Public Library and Museum of Fine Arts, and as supporter of the Dallas Symphony and Historical Society. He also received the highest distinction in the order of Masons, was a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and in 1931 earned an honorary doctorate from SMU. He died during a visit to Galveston, aged 78.


Dr. Lane's lifelong interest in early Egyptian and Babylonian cultures led him to compile an extensive collection of ancient artifacts. He began donating the collection A.V. Lane Monogramto SMU in 1917. He became a prominent member of the Archaeological Institute of America and the honorary secretary of the Texas branch of the Egyptian Exploration Society of London. In 1922 he arranged for the British Museum's permanent deposit of twelve important papyrus fragments at SMU. On 8 November 1926, SMU opened its first University Museum in old Kirby Hall (now Florence Hall of the SMU Law School), the home of the theological seminary. Two years later, to honor his generosity and leadership, the university's Trustees officially named it the A. V. Lane Museum.


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