Collections & Critiques


Sally Rand's "Rancherettes" will doubtless obtain a lion's share of the publicity given the San Francisco Exposition, if only because of their pictorial value; but nevertheless the colossal island built into the Pacific Ocean does contain other elements of interest. Contribution to the more orthodox art exhibits has been made by Harvard's Fogg Museum, and Langdon Warner, Curator of the Oriental Department, has been made Director of Fine Arts in the Fair's "Division of Pacific Cultures." Just back from a year's travel in the Orient, Mr. Warner has so organized the display of Pacific culture as to bring considerable comment--not only because of its grand scale, but also because of its ingenuity of arrangement and high artistic quality.

From Fogg Museum itself a number of loans have been made. Prominent are two fragments of fresco from a cave at Tun Huang in Western China:--a Head of a Bodhisattva, and Three Old Men. These two paintings have that strange, unmistakable violet hue which results when the flesh tints have faded. From Mr. Warner's own collection a number of items are being displayed. In addition to a Japanese priest's mask and two gilt bronzes, there is a T'and painting (or print) of the priest Hsuan Tsang, carrying on his back the Holy Books that brought Buddhism to China. It is interesting and perhaps surprising that the Oriental culture display also includes an Italian painting from Fogg, in spite of the amazing treasures sent by the government of Italy. The painting is Cosimo Dura's "The Adoration of the Magi," a small, round work typical of the best done by that North Italian master. In its sculpturesque modeling and graceful dignity, the work is truly great art; and its worth may be said to typify the quality of the contribution which Fogg Museum has made to the Golden Gate Exposition.