Saturday, 22 February 2020

An Exhibition in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943


A few years ago I was trying to find out what leaves and cuttings are in Virginia, so I contacted the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts about an exhibition catalogue that seemed not to be available in any London library:
The archivist Courtney Yevich Tkacz very kindly sent me a scan of it. (It has since been put online here). Looking at it again this week, I noticed several connections with recent blogs.

The catalogue introduction is by the classicist Herbert C. Lipscomb [biographical notes], and he was a lender, e.g. no. 26:

This leaf is now part of the collection at Randolph College, Lynchburg, where he taught for more than 40 years, with the decapitation of Paul on one side and the upside-down Crucifixion of Peter on the other:

There are plenty of loans from Otto Ege, as one might expect at this date, including a Beauvais Missal leaf:
 and a sixty-leaf set of "Nine centuries of Pages from the Bible":

No. 25 was lent by Jacob Hirsch, and was acquired by the Art Institute, Chicago, the following year:
One side is shown at the top of this page, the other side is reproduced in the blogpost here. It was subsequently lent to the 1953-54 Los Angeles exhibition discussed in this recent blog:

No. 39 was the fake miniature of Abelard, in Detroit, discussed here:

No. 46 ought to be identifiable, but I cannot at present think what it might be (although the subject sounds suspiciously as if it might be by the Spanish Forger):
"From a treatise on the Art of Magic Potions.
Obverse, full-page miniature presenting ladies playing a game or in conversation, a page attending."
One name that figures often as a lender in 1943 is Piero Tozzi, of New York; e.g. nos. 29-32:
He re-lent at least one item to the 1953-54 Los Angeles exhibition; for example, no. 29 above was no. 30 a decade later, now re-attributed from Venice to Padua:

No. 58 in the Virginia exhibition, said to be from an antiphonary from Siena cathedral illuminated by Sano di Pietro, was lent by Jacob Hirsch:
This became no. 107 in Los Angles:
It is now one of very few illuminated manuscripts at the Barber Institute of Art, Birmingham:

In fact, there seems to be so much overlap between the 1943 Virginia exhibition and the 1953-54 Los Angeles ones, especially in the exhibits lent by institutions, that I suspect the latter used the catalogue of the former as a source of inspiration for potential loans.



EDIT, 29 Sept 2020

The Barber Institute cutting was no. 122 in the exhibition of Italian illuminated manuscripts, The Painted Page., where it is attributed to Liberale da Verona, Siena, and dated 1467. Basic data and a hi-res image are here.

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