Frank Vincent

Portrait of Frank   Vincent

Frank Vincent Jr. (1847, Brooklyn, NY -1916, New York, USA) was an American explorer, businessman and art collector.

The first American citizen to publish a detailed account on Angkor while he was a guest at the court of the King of Siam, left his important collection of Indo-Chinese art to the New York Metropolitan Museum. He was listed as "Patron" in the Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, No. 36 (1905).

Before him, D.O. King (David Olyphant King), a scion of the Vernon and King families of US-Asia traders from Newport, Rhode Island, had sent a letter to the Royal Geographic Society of London on Feb. 7, 1859, describing his visit to Nokon (Nakhon Wat, Angkor) the year before, and challenging several geographical assertions made by French bishop of Siam Mgr. Jean-Baptiste Pallegoix (1805-1862).

Nevertheless, a witness of that time, Jacob T. Child (1832-1905), who was Minister Resident (Consul General) of the USA in Bangkok from 1884 to 1888, wrote in his memoirs -- The Pearl of Asia, Reminiscences of the Court of a Supreme Monarch or Five Years in Thailand, Donohue Henneberry & Co., Chicago, 1892 -- that "while making a tour of the East, Frank Vincent, Jr., in company with Rev. S. I. McFarland, made a visit to Angkor, the first Americans that had penetrated the vast wilds of that section, and in his "Land of the White Elephant" gives an elaborate description of Nagkon Wat, which has also been described by M. Mouhut [Henri Mouhot, the American writer struggling with this family name, which he also spelled Mauhut and Mahout!], whose work he drew liberally upon for information, in which he describes this temple as "one of those temples a rival to that of Solomon, erected by some ancient Michael Angelo that might take an honorable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left us by Greece or Rome." (p 91)

Frank Vincent's Obituary in the New York Times, 1916.