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Oak Ceiling, Destined for New Fogg, Travels From Dijon to Cambridge--Connecticut Highways Hinder Journey


The new Fogg Art Museum will have for one of its ceilings on the main floor a carved oak masterpiece from Dijon, France, dating from the 15th century. This ceiling of massive oak beams is the handwork of French monks of the Renaissance period and was designed for a royal chateau. Agents for the Fogg Museum purchased this art treasure when it was discovered that its size approximated that of one of the ceilings of the new buildings.

The ceiling was removed from the chateau soon after its purchase, and shipped to New York. When the steamship had docked, the problem of transporting the carved sections to Cambridge presented a number of difficulties. Neither the railroads nor steamship lines cared to handle the valuable thirty-six foot sections.

Fierily a fleet of eight-ton trucks and a special trailer were obtained for the work. The length of the transportation unit and until and its great weight were then found to exceed the highway regulations of Connecticut.

After the secretary of the Massachusetts Motor Truck Club had conferred with the Honorable John McDonald, Highway Commissioner of Connecticut, a special permit and a State highway inspector were assigned the Harvard contingent to facilitate the transportation of the ceiling from New York to Cambridge.

At many points on the highway, the 48 foot trailer and its convey of trucks encountered sharp curves, narrow roadways, and other obstacles. However, the highway inspector and the truckmen succeeded in escorting the oak sections safely to Cambridge and the Renaissance acquisition has been installed in the new museum after a memorable pilgrimage from Dijon.

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