October 23, 1941
New objects acquired by the Brooklyn Museum in the last four months will be put on view in an exhibition of Recent Accessions at the Museum, opening October 23 and continuing through December 7. The principal objects to be shown will be from the Department of Painting, Department of American Rooms, Department of Egyptology, Department of American Indian Art and the Print Department.
Among the paintings the featured one is the “Portrait of John Vinal”, a Boston school teacher, painted in oil by John Mason Furness, who lived from 1763 to 1804. In the field of painting this is important as it is the only signed example of Furness' work known, and will now act as a key for further identification of paintings by him if any are discovered. As a painting it is interesting because it shows the kind of provincial work that was being done in Boston between the period of the well-known names such as Peale and Smibert and the arrival of Gilbert Stuart in Boston. This acquisition fits into the Museum’s activities along the lines of discovery and the bringing forward of some of America’s forgotten painters.
The William Glackens’ “Park by the River” is a fortunate addition to the painting collection, as work by Glackens was missing from the roster of artists known as “The Eight.” This picture is from Glacken’s early period, painted in 1905. New examples of work by Winslow Homer are always an important addition, as the Museum owns one of the two finest collections of Homer’s work in the country. The two new acquisitions, “Fresh Air” and “Shepherdess Tending Sheep”, both water colors, help to round out the collection as they are of Homer’s Houghton Farm period. Other accessions are three water colors done in 1815 and 1816, earliest examples of American landscapes done in this medium, by William Dunlap. They serve to extend the Museum’s scope in the history of American water color painting. Still another accession is a panel with the subject, “Crucifixion” on one side and “Three Saints with Nuns” on the other, done in tempera by Lorenzo da San Severino, The Second, representative of the Umbrian School. The panel was presented to the Museum in memory of Felix M. Warburg by Mrs. Warburg.
In the Department of American Rooms there is a particularly noteworthy group of costumes given by Miss Sarah G. Gardiner. They include a two-piece pink satin brocade ball gown, 1891; two-piece Nile green crepe evening gown trimmed with pink satin, made by Madame Froment, Paris, 1896, with green silk stockings and green satin slippers; and an Empire bail dress of pink net over pink satin, trimmed with sequins and an appliquéd Greek key design around the hem, product of Paquin, Paris, 1900. Other costumes are a group given by Mrs. William Griswold, a gift that also included fashion dolls. Over
thirty dresses and accessories were acquired from the Babbott Collection.
The Museum is also now the owner of Early American gadgets, the result of a gift by Mrs. Hiram U. King, which includes an automatic apple peeler, a broom carved from a solid piece of yellow ash with the whittlings of the handle folded back and bound together to form the broom, and an early example of home movies made of a cylindrical cardboard hat box with slides in the side through which moving figures could be observed when the contraption was whirled around.
The only examples of furniture shown at this time are a pair of Sheraton type American mahogany end tables, probably of New Jersey manufacture, given by Mrs. J. Amory Haskell.
The Department of Egyptology displays a Coptic bronze incense burner, which is probably the only example of this type of object that is owned by a museum in this country. This, together with a Fayum portrait, a major work of art of its period, and a group of textiles given by Pratt Institute, strengthen the late Roman and Coptic periods of the Museum’s collections.
Two feather pieces from Tiahuanaco in Peru, and a group of Peruvian pottery from Nasca shown at this time serve to round out the Museum’s already outstanding collection of Peruvian objects.
Placed at intervals throughout the exhibition are selections from the fourteen prints acquired by the Department of Prints, which included works by Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Bonnard, Cassatt, Renoir and Hiroshige; as well as three drawings, one each by Mauve, Speicher and Kantor.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 10-12/1941, 217-9. View Original