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Sullivan, Martin Edward

Birth: 1944-02-09 in Troy, New York
Residence: Piney Point, Maryland
Death: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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Click to see full size photoDr. Martin Edward Sullivan, 70, died on February 25, 2014 at his residence in Piney Point, MD.

Sullivan was the former Director of both the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Historic St. Mary's City of Maryland. He was well known in the museum field and the recipient of a number of professional honors including recognition on the American Association of Museum's Centennial Honor Roll in 2006. He was most recently bestowed the American Alliance of Museum's 2014 Award for Distinguished Service to Museums.

Born in Troy, New York on February 9, 1944, Sullivan received a B.A. from Siena College and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Notre Dame. He served as President of the Rensselaerville Institute from 1981-1983, and later as Director of the New York State Museum from 1983-1990. During his tenure at the New York State Museum, Sullivan lead the historic return of sacred wampum belts from the museum collection to the Onondoga Nation of Indians.

From 1990-1999 he served as Director of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, an institution that showcases the fine arts and heritages of the Native people of the southwest. In 1999 Sullivan relocated to St. Mary's County, Maryland, in order to serve as the Executive Director of Historic St. Mary's City. During the fourteen years he resided in Maryland, Sullivan served as a board member for St. Mary's County United Way, the Maryland Humanities Council, and St. Mary's College of Maryland. He was an accomplished scholar with a passion for colonial history and was an Adjunct Professor of History at both St. Mary's College of Maryland and Arizona State University.

Sullivan is survived by his wife, Katherine Sullivan of Piney Point, MD; daughters, Abigail Sullivan Maslin of Washington, D.C. and Bethany Sullivan of Washington, D.C.; and stepson, James Matthew Cole of Cave Creek, AZ. He is also survived by son-in-law, Thomas Maslin of Washington, D.C., grandson, Jack Kieran Maslin of Washington, D.C., brother and sister-in-law, John F. Sullivan and Mary Ellen Sullivan of Wynantskill, NY, their four children, and lifelong friends, Jim Vore and Moira Egan of Washington, D.C.

He is preceded in death by his parents, John "Jack" Sullivan and Edna Sullivan, of Troy, NY.

Family will receive friends at a celebration of Dr. Sullivan's life to be held in the spring at the 1667 Brick Chapel at Historic St. Mary's City.

Arrangements provided by Brinsfield Funeral Home.

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