Jane Addams Mull was born on July 23, 1915 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota for a year before transferring to Wellesley College where she completed her Bachelors of Art in 1936. After obtaining a Masters of Art in Art History in 1938, Mull spent that summer in a certificate program at the Institut de’Art et d’Archeologie, at the University of Paris. She was an exceptional linguist in French and Italian, along with some knowledge of German and Spanish. Mull conducted research into the iconography of Early Christian and medieval art and was assistant editor of The Art Bulletinfor the College Art Association. She first served in the MFAA program as a research assistant for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), preparing maps and documents for MFAA assignments, while also supervising typists, draftsmen and researchers.
On September 1, 1944, Mull reported for duty in London as research assistant and secretary to Dr. Sumner McKnight Crosby, Special Adviser to The Roberts Commission. Her duties with the commission included analyzing field reports from Monuments Men detailing damage to works of art and monuments in war areas, identifying important works through historical research, and assisting in the preparation of documents for the Collection of Maps, Information and Description of Art Objects program. Crosby and Mull worked together for the Vaucher Committee, a special sub-commission of the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education in London, in assembling information on objects and formulating policies and methods of restitution of objects stolen by Axis powers. The pair also served as Technical Consultants to the American Education delegation.
Mull returned to the United States and had a successful career at Fortunemagazine as a researcher. In its June 1976 issue, she penned an article entitled “Investors in the camera masterpieces”. Photography had been her longtime hobby. When asked in 1984 how she got the job at Fortune she replied, “I really got the job because for a brief time I had been Assistant Editor of The Art Bulletin (College Art Association) – ninety footnotes per page… and they thought I had journalistic experience.”
Jane Addams Mull passed away on May 29, 1990 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.