April 8, 1949: The Brooklyn Museum will open today (April 8th) a special exhibition of South American colonial art with a private preview for Museum Members. The exhibition will be open to the public tomorrow (April 9th) and will remain on view through September 11. The collection which was gathered together by Mrs. William Braden was recently purchased by the Museum.
Mrs. Braden was one of the first North Americans to collect arts of Spanish America which show both native and European influences. Although the ancient cultures had received attention throughout the world for some time, until recent years there has been little appreciation outside of South America of the products which belong to the period following the Spanish Conquest. Mrs. Braden’s collecting in this field was very early for it was about fifty years ago that she began to acquire examples of 17th and 18th century furniture, paintings, silver etc., and during her long residence in Chile as well as in Peru and other Andean countries she obtained a great number of the distinguished and beautiful objects in this recent acquisition. It is fitting that this collection should come to the Brooklyn Museum which has pioneered in this country in special and permanent exhibitions in this field.
The furniture includes massive, intricately carved tables and cabinets from Peru; chests and table cabinets with delicate inlay of wood or tortoise shell and ivory. Chairs are of various types: some with leather backs from Ecuador, a Bishop’s throne from the Church of La Compania in Arequipa, and others covered with damask from Chile. Doors, window shutters and iron grills add impressively to the reconstruction of Colonial rooms which this collection makes possible.
Religious paintings of the Cuzco school are richly represented. One shows episodes connected with St. Sophronia, another the Virgin of Cocharcas, and members of the Holy Family are depicted both in oil paintings and in sculpture. Ecclesiastical and domestic silver, weaving and leather are shown in this fine collection.
The entire collection is colonial period (approximately 1600 to 1800).
Press preview: Monday, April 4 - 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 04-06/1949, 043-4.