Elsie Margaret BingerNaumburg

Elsie Margaret Binger Naumburg put her research into rare South American birds on hold during WWII to aid a different breed of songbird: refugee and unemployed musicians. Naumburg travelled to Germany in 1912, where she studied zoology at the universities and museums of Frankfurt-am-Main and Munich. She returned to New York in 1916 and began volunteering in the American Museum of Natural History’s department of ornithology, becoming a staff member in 1918, research associate in 1923, and associate benefactor in 1930. She focused her attentions on the little-studied birds collected during Theodore Roosevelt’s expedition to Brazil and funded a further expedition by Emil Kaempfer from 1926–1931. She wrote several major works on the birds themselves, and her analysis of the areas where they were found (many of which did not appear on any maps) earned her recognition as a fellow of the American Geographical Society. From 1942–1948 she was director of the National Audubon Society. In WWII, she stopped her work to focus on relief projects for musicians. She chaired the board of An Hour of Music, which offered promising performers a New York debut, and served as secretary and treasurer of her husband’s foundation to support musicians and composers.

More on Elsie Margaret Binger Naumburg


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elsie Margaret Binger Naumburg." (Viewed on January 25, 2020) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/naumburg-elsie-margaret>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox