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Art Through the Magnifying Glass

DATES July 22, 1947 through September 1, 1947
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  • July 22, 1947: As part of its summer program the Brooklyn Museum has opened an exhibition today called “Art Through the Magnifying Glass,” to be on view through Labor Day, September 1. The exhibit consists of small objects from the Museum collections, chosen for their fine quality or archaeological interest.

    Among the pieces exhibited are tiny ivories, bronze and copper objects, small wood sculptures, terra-cotta heads and figurines, finely wrought pieces in gold and semiprecious stones, miniature paintings from manuscripts and minute relics of prehistoric civilizations. Almost every department of the Museum is represented in the exhibition. Objects from China, Japan, India, Ancient Egypt, Negro Africa, pre-Columbian America and Medieval Europe are included. But there are only two objects more than six inches high, and the majority of the pieces shown are much smaller, many of them only an inch or two in height.

    Since such objects are usually lost sight of in the Museum galleries, an attempt has been made to install them in such a way as to render them easily visible. They are exhibited in lighted cases, with only a few pieces to a case--in short, they are shown with all the care usually given to larger, more “important” works of art.

    Among the outstanding objects are a small Egyptian ivory figure of a nude girt, 3 1/4 inches high, dating from the late 18th dynasty (about 1350 B.C.), a wooden snuff-box in the form of a seated woman from the African Congo, 5 3/4 inches high, a pre-Spanish Mexican grasshopper cut from aquamarine, 2 inches long, of the finest workmanship, gold amulets, exquisitely wrought, from Egypt end Peru, a collection of fine seals from Egypt, China and Mexico, and a series of Japanese bronze sword-fittings, with minute motifs delicately worked in gold, silver and copper. Three of the largest objects shown are also perhaps the finest in the exhibition. These are a Mayan clay figure of a man, 7 1/4 inches high, a gilt copper figurine of a goddess from Nepal, 4 3/4 inches high, and an exquisite Egyptian wooden figurine of a lady, 6 1/8 inches high, recently acquired and not previously shown.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 07-09/1947, 102. View Original