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Collections and Critiques

Three Travelling Exhibitions of German Art on Tour in New England


Three travelling exhibitions of ancient and modern German art, assembled by the staff of the Germanic Museum of Harvard University, are on tour this winter throughout New England, with an itenerary including twenty-five educational institutions.

The traveling collections were sent on the road for the first time this fall and are supplied to museums, libraries colleges, and secondary schools in New England without cost. Dr. Kuhn, Curator of the Museum, stated that requests for the exhibitions have been so numerous that they will probably become a regular feature of the Germanic Museum's extension work in assisting educational agencies outside Harvard.

Colored reproductions of German paintings of the Middle Ages and of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and also reproductions of medieval German prints make up the exhibits. All the expesses of the travelling collections this winter have been borne by the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation of New York City.

This policy of sending out such traveling exhibitions is the result of an experiment tried out last year, in which the Germanic Museum cooperated with Cambridge Public schools in presenting a series of lectures with movies, on the history of art from ancient times to the present day.

The course was given to selected students from the eighteen public schools in Cambridge and the lecture topics included the Art of Egypt, the Cathedrals of the Middle Ages, Art Treasures of the Vatican, and American Colonial Silver Work. Special excursions were also made to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

So much interest was shown in this course that it was decided to extend the policy of outside work by means of the traveling exhibits.

A painting by the famous 16th century artist Domenico Theotocopuli, known as El Greco, has been anonymously donated to join two other pictures by the same painter already owned by the Fogg Museum.

El Greco was a Greek painter who founded a "Spanish" school, and lived from 1548 until 1614, or slightly later. Coming under the influence of Titian in Italy for a time, he later settled in Toledo, supported by the patronage of Philip II of Spain, and in his later life produced some remarkable works of a religious nature.

Called "The Visitation"

To this class belongs Fogg's recent gift. The picture is entitled "The Visitation," and portrays two figures, the Madonna and St. Elizabeth, dressed in long, heavy cloaks. It is small in size, measuring only 28 by 38 inches, and is painted with a "high perspective," that is, the figures would be in proper proportion if viewed from about ten feet below the picture.

Done Late in Career

The painting was done late in Theotocopuli's career, and is permeated with the grayish tinge and mystical atmosphere typical of this period of the artist's work. It is unknown whether it is a sketch for a larger picture or stands finished in its present condition.

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