The following article was written for the Crimson by G. H. Edgell '09, Dean of the School of Architecture.
There is now on exhibition in the Grace Horne Gallery an exhibition of water colours by Professor J. J. Haffner. These were made during his sabbatical leave, last year, when he travelled extensively in North Africa, and especially in Morocco.
Practically all the subjects are Moorish. There is some work in opaque colour, but most of the sketches are in transparent water colours of unusual brilliance. Professor Haffner's water colour technique has always been marked by especial breadth and sparkle. This tendency was stimulated by the brilliant light in the districts in which he has recently worked. Some, like the three water colours framed in black mats, in which there is almost no colour so that the paintings might be called "symphonies in white light," are extraordinary examples of a technique which though fundamentally the old one, seems new on account of the new treatment of the subject matter. Many scenes are of interiors, where the tiling and ornament allows for a full polychromatic display.
Throughout, one is conscious of the hand of an architect and most of the subjects contain architecture. It is rare, however, that an architect can give professional versimilitude to his subject matter and yet, at the same time, treat it so fundamentally from the point of view of painting. The exhibition is thus a delight to the connoisseur and enthusiast in water colour and to the architect who is interested in technique and the beautiful composition of architectural forms.