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The opening exercises of the Germanic Museum, with the formal presentation and acceptance of the collections given by Emperor William of Germany, took place at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon in the New Lecture Hall.
Professor H. C. G. von Jagemann presided and in his opening address said:
"You have been invited by the President and Fellows of Harvard College to witness the opening exercises of a new institution connected with our University--the Germanic Museum. The beginnings of our enterprise date back some ten years. The project of a Germanic Museum had its inception in the growing conviction on the part of the instructors in the department of German, that their true function was not merely to teach the German language, or even German literature, but to give our students a true conception of what Germany stands for in modern civilization, what her ideals have been, what she has contributed to the world's best intellectual possessions. For this purpose books alone do not suffice. It was thought that this country, of all countries, should possess a German Museum in the wider sense of the word, since the great majority of the American people are of Germanic origin, and it is here that in modern homes descendants of all Germanic tribes have met on a common ground and carried on the work of civilization side by side."
Professor von Jagemann went on to explain at length how the extensive plans for the Museum have been matured and brought to realization.
Baron von Bussche-Haddenhausen, First Secretary of the German Embassy at Washington, formally presented to the University the Emperor's gifts to the Museum. He said also:
"I am happy to couple with this formal presentation of the Emperor's gift the announcement of two other gifts which are about to be made to Harvard University. A year ago last April, after the friendly reception of his royal highness Prince Henry of Prussia by the people of the United States, there was formed in Berlin a committee of leading men of science, art, literature and finance, with the view of supplementing the emperor's donation by a gift from the German people. The committee decided upon a collection of galvanoplastic reproductions of representative works of German gold and silver work. This costly collection is now nearly completed, and I have been authorized to state that by the end of the year this gift of the German people will be in the possession of Harvard University. It is most gratifying that still another side of German life is to be represented by a gift which comes from your own midst. I refer to the most welcome donation of 10,000 books on the history of Germany and of German civilization, which Professor A. C. Coolidge is to make to Harvard College as a memorial to the visit of Prince Henry of Prussia to the University in 1902."
President Eliot spoke in part as follows:
"For many generations manuscripts and books have been the accepted means of transmitting knowledge, and keeping the records of our race; and so writings and printed books, with buildings, have been the chief resources of a university. John Harvard founded Harvard College with his library and *800; but now museums, as well as books, are essential to the work of any university. They are peculiarly necessary in an American university; for we are a new conglomerate people, in a fresh land which has no monuments that are not recent."
President Eliot went on to show the development of museums here, and then in closing said, "The Germanic Museum will doubtless prove to be the first of a group of museums, illustrating at this institution the progress of civilization among the leading races of mankind down to recent years."
Professor Kuno Francke Curator of the Germanic Museum, emphasized the value that such a Museum might be in helping the student to visualize his ideas of German art and "to adapt his sensual perception to the objects of his study." He spoke also of the power the Museum might become in helping to check narrow specialization, by bringing together "the art student and the philologist, the student of political as well as of literary history." Hon. Carl Schurz, President of the Germanic Museum Association spoke of the Museum as a instance of and help to international friendship between Germany and the United States. Mr. Edward Robinson, Curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, spoke for the relation that might exist between the two museums.
Professor William James, on behalf of the Faculty, welcomed the Germanic Museum as an addition to our general back-ground of culture. He spoke of the spirit of study here.--minute research, mainly, as derived from Germany, and said that Harvard could recognize its own spirit of great individuality in these objects of plastic art. He compared the Germanic with the Classic spirit in art. Bacon expressed the Germanic spirit when he wrote "there is no excellent beauty without some strangeness in the proportion." The Mediterranean spirit has always sought to avoid strangeness, and there by its works are so communicable and urbane. In spite of this we may believe the Germanic spirit to be more fruitful. It is less abstract, it preserves more shades of truth, and its works are superior in lovability, for love feeds on the details of individuality.
After the exercises the Germanic Museum was thrown open for inspection and tea was served at Phillips Brooks House for the guests of the President and Fellows.
An informal dinner was also given at the Colonial Club in the evening, by the President and the German Department to visiting teachers and a few other guests.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Heinrich Conried three German plays were presented in Sanders Theatre in the evening by the Irving Place Theatre Company of New York. These plays, typical of different stages in the German drama, were "Der Fahrende Schuler in Paradies," by Hans Sachs, "Die Gesch- wister," by Goethe, and "Unter Vier Augen," by Ludwig Fulda. The first of these was very amusing in its grotesque quaintness, and the last in its humorous situations. The play by Goethe was the least attractive of the three. It made no claim to humor, and as a serious piece, failed to arouse great interest.
The acting throughout was of exceptional excellence, and illustrated one notable ideal of the German theatre--the attainment of a well-rounded performance, instead of the exploitation of one or two stars surrounded by novices. Fraulein Frey played the part of an ingenuous young girl with great skill, and Fraulein von Ostermann that of a modern society woman with charm and grace. Herr von Seyfertitz's impersonation of a woman was highly skilful, and Herr Ottbert's acting was perfectly natural in both the play by Goethe and that by Fulda. All the plays went off smoothly and were enthusiastically received. An unfortunate tendency to speak too loud was noticeable on the part of several of the actors, but this was no doubt due to their being unaccustomed to the acoustics of Sanders.
After the plays Herr Seyfertitz announced that Mr. Conried hoped to give a similar performance for the Germanic Museum each year
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