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THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART | 


BULLET#M @ 


December 1948. 











THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART 
VOLUME VII BUL LETIN NUMBER 1 


NOTE S On tHe Cover. The picture on and his wile printed and published the illus 


the cover is the Rest on the trated texts of his Songs of Innocence (1789 

Flight into Egypt, a water-color drawing by and Songs of Experience (1794) and the “pro- 

William Blake (1757-1827) phetic’ books by an original process of reliel 
Phe subject of this drawing is taken from onc engraving and hand coloring. 


ol the apocryphal leg Phe Rest on the Flight 





ends that grew up Into Egypt is one o 
a series of water colors 


around the Bible story CONTENTS 


in which the Holy Fam done in Blake's mature 


ily escaped King Hei December, 1948 vears. These drawings 


od's Idiers by fleeing were directly inspired 
=“ . \ DRAWING BY FRANCESCO packs 
by his reading of Mil- 


Wo Evypt lter a lone 
into Egypt. Alter a long MAZZOLA, IL PARMIGIANINO 

and perilous journey ho Bentsen Memidiinn it ton, Dante, and the 
across the hilly country Bible, literal delinea- 
ENRICHED HISTORICAL ARMS 


ol Judea they descended * tions ol Imaginative vi 
) 


STEPHEN V. GRANCSAY — LOS ; 
sions provoked by the 


\ CENTURY OF WOMEN poetry He wrote: “If 


the mountains to a flow 


ering plain crossed by 
By Arpert Pen Eyck Garpxvrr 110 


strcams and covered vou have hol nature 

with bruit trees. A palm \ TREATMENT FOR PANEI belore vou tor every 
? »s . 

tree is said to have PAIN TING touch, vou cannot paint 


By Merray Prasi 119 . ‘ 
bowed down to. shade portrait; and if you 


have nature before vou 





Mary and Jesus as they 











rested there and san at all, you Cannot paint 
other at the gates of Heliopolis, the end of their — history.” In this lovely and surprising land 
journey, lowered its branches in veneration. — scape, traditional though its elements mav be, 
Blake’s delicate and luminous drawing of the we have a palm tree that looks like an arti 
Holy Family at rest shows this sympathetic pas choke, fairyland flowers and delicate wisps ol 
toral interlude. green growing up out of rock, a tropical sun 
William Blake is equally well known fon the color of watermelon, and an engagingly 
poctry and painting. He was born in London homely donkey. The imagination was always 
where his father was a tradesman. He carly more important to Blake than the world ol 
proved himself a dreamer and visionary, devel reason. “I know of no other Christianity,” he 
oping his own individual style of expression. wrote, “and of no other Gospel than the 
\pprenticed to an engraver, he studied at the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the 
Royal Academy but gave up the orthodox ways — divine arts of Imagination: Imagination, the 
of art, prelerring to carn his living as an en real and eternal world of which this vegetable 
eraver ol illustrations lor various publishers. He universe is but a faint shadow.” 
THe B ETIN is published monthly from October to June and quarterly from July to politan Museum ot 
Art, Fifth Avenue and 82nd Streer, New York 28, N. Y. Re-entered as second ss matt it the Post Off i 
New York, N. Y., under the Act of August 24, 1912. Copvright 19048 bv The Metropolitan riptions £2.cc a i 
Single ! thirty ts. Sent tree to Museun vers. Four weeks’ notice reat j I Marshall B 





Davidson. Assistant Editors: Agnes Peters and Jean Leonard. Assistants: Sally Horan and ‘I Cr 


Us- 
Sy 
rO- 


‘icl 


he 


A DRAWING BY FRANCESCO 
MAZZOLA, IL PARMIGIANINO 


By LOUISE 


RROUGHS 


Issistant Curator, Department of Paintings 


\ delightful pen and bistre drawing of an 
Adoration of the Shepherds has recently been 
added to the Museum’s collection. The ghost 
of this drawing has been haunting the literature 
on Parmigianino for more than a century and 
a half in the form of an engraving by Conrad 
Martin Metz. This engraving was included by 
Metz in a collection entitled “Imitations ol 
Ancient and Modern Drawings” published in 
London in 1798 and has been reproduced in 
modern times in the two most exhaustive 
studies of Parmigianino’s work. The authors ol 
these books, Lili Frohlich-Bum in ig2t and 
Giovanni Copertini in 1932, find in it indica 
tions of Parmigianino’s hand. Fréhlich-Bum 
writes, “A wholly individual composition of an 
\doration of the Shepherds is preserved tor us 
ina print by Conrad Martin Metz, which, as 
every detail shows, was an original from the 
hand of Francesco.”"! Copertini, more cautious 
in the face of a transliterated technique, con 
fines himself to noting that although there are 
elements which point to Francesco himself it is 
possible that they are the “fruits of a felicitous 
assimilation.’ 

Phe drawing itself, now come to light at last, 
affirms Francesco’s authorship. The extraordi 
nary loss of character in the lines and of depth 
and harmony in the composition suffered at the 
hands of the engraver makes the comparison of 
drawing and print an absorbing study and 
serves to emphasize Parmigianino’s brilliant 


style. Every figure offers some illuminating com 


1 Parmigianino und der Manierismus, Pp. O5 eine 
ganz eigenartige Komposition einer ‘Anbetung der Hit 
ten’ ist uns in dem Stich von Conrad Martin Metz 
erhalten, die, wie jedes Detail zeigt, ein Original von der 
Hand Francescos war.’ 

“Il Parmigianino, vol. 4, p. 6o: “Si trovano spunti 
creauivi che si direbbero propri di Francesco, ma non 


potrebbero essere essi frutto di una felice assimilazione?’ 


ment, none more so than the child, whose grace 
ful movement as he emerges from the bath into 
his mother’s arms is completely lost in the en 
eraving. Particularly to be noticed in the draw 
ing are the curving lines, constantly varied in 


SUD neth, the paralle | strokes in the shadows te 


minatinge in an accent where the contour of a 


1g 
muscle is indicated. From these fluid lines and 
strategically placed accents springs the sense ol 
life and movement so characteristic of Fran 
cesco’s drawings. 

Our Adoration olf the Shepherds is not a 
sketch—indeed it lacks the vivid spontaneity olf 
the artist’s sketches—but a carefully designed 
picture, its diverse elements cleverly woven into 
harmony and significance. [Che central theme ts 
ad compact group consisting ol the Mother and 
Child, a serving woman, shepherds, and the ox 
and ass. Though placed far to the right and in 
the background, it Commands attention not 
only by its 9Tact but also because the eve 1s 
surely led to it by the pose of the strongly drawn 
shepherd in the foreground, the pointing Saint 
Joseph in the middle distance, and the angel 
hovering overhead. Depth and atmosphere are 
realized by the dett lighting of these several 
planes. The rhythm of the composition is pecu 
liarly Francesco’s and foretells the veritable 
dances into which his later drawings are im 
pelled. This one must have been made fairly 
early in his career, during, and probably clos 
to the end ol, his stay in Rome, where he went 
in 1524 and remained until 1527. The sugges 
tion of Raphael's influence, which at this period 
superseded that of Correggio, points to this 
time, while the figures, graceful but not attenu 
ated, and the scene, animated but not aswirl 
with exaggerated movement, indicate a date 
well before his mannerisms had begun to domi 
nate his style. 


(Amongst Francesco's drawings of this period 


10] 





jo). Rogers Fund, 1946 


I5 


03 


5 


gianino (1 


~ 


102 


pherds, by Parmi 


> 


{doration of the She 


The 





wen He 
o> Nae age et, 


‘ 















































Engraving by Conrad Martin Metz afte) the drawing 





103 




















1 sheet of sketches by Parmigianino. In the British Museum, London. The studies of a mothe) 


and child were used by the 


are a number closely connected with ours— 
notably an Adoration of the Shepherds in the 
Ufhzi, another—probably an Adoration of the 
Shepherds although the subject is not alto 
in the British Museum and, most 
all, a beautiful little 


sketches showing a mother lifting her child 


ore ther clea 


pertinent ol sheet ol 


) 


from his bath. ‘These sketches, also in the Bri- 


tish Museum, provide the motif for the several] 


artist in the other drawings here illustrated. 


~ 


drawings here illustrated. Phe grouping differs, 
the action is changed, but in each the child ts 
being lifted trom a small wooden tub by his 
mother while a woman with a towel waits to 
receive him. This is a refreshing variation on 
the theme of the Virgin and Child and lends 
to this particular group of drawings an inti 
macy and charm that are wholly delightful. 


Phe 


\doration in the British Museum may 


104 


n 
ds 


ae 


AE ae 


4 ~e - = % " an eames: a tl _—— wey. iy » Wa Ts, tan] 
| ah. — 











Che Adoration of the Shepherds, by Parmigianino., A drawing in the Britis! 


Vise Mii, / ondon 


well have been the artist's first attempt to use the vividness of a sketch while at the same tim 


{ 


his sketches in a composition. Here we find an _ it achieves dignity and strength by its simplicity 


arrangement in three planes similar to ours and sculptural quality. The Ufhzi version | 


but more tentative. The architecture of the certainly the latest rendering ol the three. Il 


background has not been developed and the more satisfactory pictorially, and its easy lines 


loreground is somewhat contused by the unre flow into that rhythm, more marked here than 


solved significance of the two figures. All of | in ours, which, together with the exaggerated 


this, however, serves to isolate the exquisite elongation and elegance of his figures, was later 


group of the Holy Family, which here retains to characterize Francesco's styl 


105 











The Adoration of the Shepherds, by Parmigianino. A drawing in the U ffizt Gallery, Florence 


Writers on Parmigianino generally feel 
obliged to point out his weaknesses, balancing 
his virtues against his faults: his work is origi 
nal, full of invention, but lacking in profun 
dity; his style is brilliant, graceful, elegant, but 
empty of content; sentiment takes the place ol 
emotion and movement serves for action. A 
psychiatrist could no doubt find in his biog 
raphy the source of these weaknesses. He was 
born in Parma in 1503 and, orphaned in in 
fancy, was brought up by two uncles who fos 
tered his precocious artistic talents, in which 
they took great pride. By seventeen the boy had 
already painted a number of excellent works, 
including the Baptism of Christ, now in the 
Berlin Museum. At twenty-one, having ab 
sorbed what he could from Correggio, who had 
come to Parma in 1518, Francesco set out for 
Rome, attracted by the fame of Michelangelo 
and Raphael. Here he met with more admira- 


tion and encouragement, and on his return to 


Parma he received important commissions. He 
seems to have worked at fever pit h but always 
to have undertaken more than he was able to 
carry out. A bitter quarrel over an unfinished 
commission dogged his last days and, forced to 
leave Parma, he fled to Casalmagegiore, where 
he died at the age of thirty-seven. 

In his short span of years he produced a pro 
digious amount, and if his limitations are dis 
turbing it is because of the quality of his 
achievements. It is not what he does wrong that 
is deplored but what, with his gifts, he fails to 
do. Berenson could not in justice omit him from 
his Central Italian Painters of the Renatssance, 
though he all but damns him with faint praise 
“My tale is told. . I shall add but a word 
about Parmigianino, the last of the real Renais 
sance artists of North Italy. He had too ove 
mastering a bent for elegance to rest contented 
with Correggio’s sensuous femininity. But this 


clegance he approached with such ardour, that 


106 


TS SY een rere 





| 
| 


he attained to a genuine, if tiny, quality of his 
own, a refined grace, a fragile distinction, that 
please in fugitive moments.” 

\ll moments are fugitive—the important 
thing is the genuine quality that is his own 
and the enjoyment it brings. Parmigianino 1s 
still pleasing us after four hundred years. We 
can forget what he does not do and allow out 
selves to rejoice in his gaiety, his verve, his 
grace, in the beauty of his style, the inexhaust 


ible spring of his invention. 


\ NOTE ON THE HISTORY OF THE 
DRAWING 


Parmigianino’s drawings form the bulk and to 
many the most important part of his work 
They are to be found in most of the great col 
lections, particularly in the Gallery in Parma, 
the Uffizi, the Louvre, and the British Museum 
Before they came to rest in public collections 
they were treasured in private hands, and our 
Adoration of the Shepherds, though seemingly 
‘lost’ for so long a time, was no exception. Some 
of its story can be traced through the mark of 
Sir Thomas Lawrence in the lower left-hand 
corner. 

The Lawrence collection, justly famous for 
its quality and scope, was formed with the aid 
of the London dealer Samuel Woodburn, him 
self a connoisseur of discernment. After the 
death of Sir Thomas it was turned over to 
Woodburn as Lawrence's chief creditor and 
was shown by him in 1835-1836 in a series of 
ten brilliant exhibitions of one hundred draw 
ings each. In the catalogue of the fourth, which 
was devoted exclusively to the works of Correg 
vio and Parmigianino, we find listed as no. 32 
an “Adoration of the Shepherds—a beautiful 


composition. On the left a shepherd carries a 


} Bénard, Cabinet de M. Paignon Dijonval, p. 26: “Ce 
tres-beau dessin est lavé au bistre sur papier gris; il a éte 


plié en quatre, et les plis ont coupé le papier 


lamb; above is seen the heavenly host, and on 
the right an angel descending over the holy 
family. Pen and bistre wash. Capital. Size, 6 
inches by 81% inches. From the Collection of 
the Marquis Vinde.” 

Chis information carries us back two steps 
for Charles Gilbert, Vicomte Morel de Vindé 
was the grandson and heir of Paignon Dijonval! 
(1708-1792), one of the greatest collectors ot 
prints and drawings of the eighteenth century 
Ihe Vicomte de Vindé, whose chiel interests 
lay elsewhere, had his grandfather's entire col 
lection catalogued with the double purpose ol 
making a permanent record of it and of selling 
it as a whole. In his catalogue, published in 
1810, we find under number 391, after a descrip 
tion of the scene, “this verv beautiful drawing 
is bistre wash on 2Tay pape It has been folded 
in quarters, and the folds have cut the pape 
So we learn not only that it was in the Paignon 
Dijonval collection but that it had already suf 
fered the precise damage it now has, which 1s 
clearly visible in the reproduction. In 1816 
some six thousand drawings and sixty thou 
sand prints were purchased by Woodburn from 
the Vicomte de Vinde. 

Ihe last clue which the drawing itself pro 
vides is the almost obliterated mark, on the 
lower right-hand edge, of another client of 
Woodburn’s, W. Coningham, whose collection 
was sold to Colnaghi in 1846. Presumably our 
drawing, after passing from Paignon Dijonval 
to the Vicomte de Vindé, was purchased by 
Woodburn, sold by him to Lawrence, reac 
quired by Woodburn with the Lawrence col 
lection. and later sold to Coningham. Just be 
lore it was bought by the Museum in 1946 i1 


was in the hands of a Swiss collector 


The height of the drawing on page 73 1s 8! 
inches, width 57% inches. Pen and bistre wash 


On paper. Ta no 16.80 


10; 











ENRICHED HISTORICAL ARMS 


By SEEPHEN V. GRANCSAY, Curator of Arms and Armo 





elene ences Tee 
Tes, 






on T 


1 








] 


Thee cherry stock has thre 


The German wheellock hunting rifle, above, was made about 1680. 
] 
nonogram of Johann Michael Maucher of Gmiind in Swabia (1645-about 1700),a minoi 


Parodie 


sculptor influenced by Rubens. Hunting scenes are carved on the stock and scenes from the stories 


ol li faen and Saint Habe rion thre WoOrY plaque ‘. The pat h box COVE? LS AM TW OTY Ye lief Oo] lane 


vith Eros on a swan. An inlay of mother-of pearl on the other side shows the eagle of Austria 


mounted by a ducal crown. Caliber .56; weight 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Dick Fund, 1942 


Phe Italian flintlock pistols, made about 1690, are the work of a master gunsmith, Giovann 


Battista Francino, who belonged to a famous family, rwals of the Cominazz. John Evelyn in his 


Diary (1646) refers to Lazarino Cominazzo and Giovanni Battista Franco, father of Francino, as 


; ‘’ } 
the “best esteemed” gunsmiths in Brescia. 


.) 


These pistols were made to commemorate victorte 


over the Turks. Viena Liberata is engraved on the barrel of one, Buda Superata on the othe 


(Vienna liberated, Budapest cong ue red ). Caliber 55; weight I pound, 13 OUNCES Cat h. Both Ou) 


and pistols are from the collection of Prince Liechtenstein at Vaduz. Dick Fund. 1042 


108 


aT ap ae 


a eer 





The lt nelish presentation sword hilt, left, is made of silver gilt enriched with brilliants and 
set with enamel plaques showing the arms of England and figures of Peace and Justice. It 
has the l ondon date lette) fo) 1797 1798 and the mark of the goldsmith John Moore. Swords 
of such magnificent materials and workmanship were not intended for use, though this one 
had an extremely practical small-sword blade. part of which remains inside the scabbard 
mountings. It was appare ntly neve? presented as ut has no presentation inscription, u 


usually on the under side oO; the guard. Dick Fund, IQ42 


The partisan, dating about 1640, belonged to Antoine d’Aumont, Marshal of France 


Captain of the guard of Louis XIII. It is damascened in gold, with the royal arms of I 
and Navarre surrounded by the collars of the Orders of Saint Michael and the Holy Ghost 


Ce 


surmounted by a crown. The name of the bearer, Domoin de Villequier, is damascened o7 
The 


the socket. Partisans were carried by infantry officers and members of body ouards 


Vuseum has less ornate partisans carried by the guard of Louis XIV. Dick Fund 1942 


109 








A CENTURY 


By ALBERI 


I his is the year the ladies celebrate the cente 
nary of the feminist movement, organized in 
this country at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 
(hough the principal objects of that movement 
were to secure political equality for women and 
full legal and educational rights, it also had its 
effect on the art world. And women artists mad¢ 
their contribution to women’s freedom just as 
the pioneering women doctors, lawyers, and 
scholars did. They forced open the doors of the 
art schools, and their often willful Bohemian in 
dependence frequently placed them in the van 
guard which broke down the confining Vic 
torian conventions. In the carly years of the 
century the “female” artist was generally on¢ 
of two things; she was either a pale tubercular 
creature laboring over a tiny slab of ivory tick 
ling out a miniature portrait lor small pay, on 
she was a genteel amateur politely and decora 
tively wasting time with water colors. By th 
end of the century the rights of women artists 
at least were an established fact. 
Curiously enough the organized leminists 


were then so busy diffusing their enormous 
powers in moral reforms and exercising censor 
ships in the arts through their purity leagues 
temperance unions, and societies for the sup 
pression of vice that they had no time to count 
the liberties won for them by pioneering wom 


kinds 


lumped together by the righteous with 


en artists. In fact artists of all wert 
gam 
blers, actors, dancers as a scandalous lot of un 
principled riff-rail. In only one or two cases did 


the puritan feminists select women artists as 


OF WOMEN 
PEN EYCK GARDNER 
Research Fellow 


models of the new emancipated woman. Thx 


women artists themselves seemed content to 


leave reform and censorship to their less dreamy 
The 


bution to women’s freedom and equality Was SO 


(or more inhibited) sisters. artists’ contri 
little appreciated that when Women’s Work in 
Imerica was published in 1891 no mention ol 
feminine artists was to be found in it. 

This interesting chapter in the history of 
\merican art has, impolitely, it seems, received 
but little attention. The remarkable change in 


took 


to a social revolution, and 


women artists. that place 


fact 


regard to 
amounted in 
the drastic nature of the modification stands 
especially clear when one contrasts the few 
lady amateurs of the early years of the century 
with the hundreds of serious women painters, 
sculptresses, and craltswomen—the students and 
professional practitioners of the nineties. ‘The 
history of this change is one possessing many 
curious and almost unexplored ramifications 
on the widely di 


which touch here and there 


vergent or parallel currents that molded and 


colored American life in the last century 


Phere 


their living as artists, of course, and the names 


have always been women who earned 


ot some who worked in the United States in the 


first half of the century readily come to mind 


Jane Stuart, Jane Sully, Sarah Cole, Ann Leslie, 
Peale 


and the painting ladies of the famuly. It 


‘BOVE: Modern Woman, by Mary Cassatt (1845 


1926). Mural decoration in the Woman's Build 


meat the World's Columbian I x position, 1893 


110 





is to be noted that these women were all daugh 
ters or sisters of artists and they all had special 


he 


opportunities to live in the atmosphere ol t 
studio at home. They were exceptional cases 
and they were accepted without too much ado 
as the women artists of the eighteenth century 
had been. 

\s the century progressed changes began to 
appear. Some women who exhibited their work 
at the early annual exhibitions in this country 
disguised themselves in decorous anonymity 


ladylike 


name displayed in vulgar print in a_ public 


it was not considered to have one’s 
place. Curiously enough, at about the same time 


that some ladies became so retiring, new forces 
were at work that were to bring the lady artists 
out of their domestic seclusion. First of these 
was the movement for “improving the educa 
tional opportunities of females.” The temale 
seminaries and institutes organized in the 1820's 
and 30's all gave Courses in “correct drawing” 
and water-color sketching. The arts received 
the ultimate stamp of respectability as a lei 
surely and ladylike pastime when it becam 
known that the young Queen Victoria hersell, 
under the gentle guidance of the Prince Con 
sort and the tutelage of Sir Edwin Landseer 
had been sket« hing out of doors in the Scottish 
Highlands. 

Othe: 


as powerful as the British queen, which brought 


forces too were at work, social torces 
women into the field of the arts. Royal prece 
dent and educational opportunity were assisted 
by the sudden expansion of the so-called art in 
dustries, where rapid mass production by ma 
chine called tor cheap skilled hand labor—de 
signers, pattern-makers, china-painters, rug and 
textile designers, and “hand-finishers.”” One ol 
the first indications that women artisans were 
in demand was the foundation in 1844 of the 
Philadelphia School of Design for Women, a 
bold project organized by Mrs. Sarah Peter. It 
is significant that for a number of years this 
school was carried on by the Franklin Institute 
it body concerned more with science and indus 
Arts 
was dozing, as academies will.) A similar school 


was started in New York about 1854 by a Miss 


try than with art. (The Academy of Fine 


Hamiulton—this was later supplanted by Coope: 





Viniature portrait of Mrs. Goudry, by Sara/ 


Goodridac (17388 1S52) Roge rs / und, TOQ2¢ 


Women 


women artists 


Free Art School ro? 


At this time 


Union in then 


1559 a number ol 


were earning their living as designers for the 


Oo 
1g 


carpet factory at Lowell and in the Merrimack 


Print Works. Some even rose above the anony 
mous mass of factory workers and made little 
reputations lor themselves—there was Saral 


MacIntosh who made cut glass patterns, Biane: 
Bondi, the wood engraver, and Fanny Palme) 
who designed lithographs for Currier and Ives 
I his 


noted ina de scription of the E. \ 


female invasion of the art industries is 


Houghwou 
kstablishment, a factory and showroom = 1 
Broadway at Broome Street published In 1O5GqG 
Phe article states: “The employment of female 
in (china-painting) ts but the forerunner of 
their more general ¢ mploy in all the arts of de 


sign 


\s painters, burnishers, &ct. they Pp 


form quite half the labor of this PTCai house 
Ihe day of woman’s disenthralment from thi 
poor pittance ind peril of the seamstress’s 


is at hand 


Civil War some books on art 


Belore thi 
published especially fol thre instruction ot won 


n. Ewo examples will suffice to show the 








The elegant lady artist. Frontispiece from 
‘Godey’s Lady’s Book,’ ISO4 
rent attitudes; their titles in themselves are 


clues. In 1845 there appeared in London The 
Handbook of Useful and Ornamental Amuse 
{reef 
cial Flower Making, Engraving, Etching, Paint 


1/1 Its Styles, Modelling, 
Wood, Ivory and Shell, Also Fancy 


ment and Accomplishments, Including 


Carving in 


I] ork oO; 


ing wn 


kvery Des¢ ription, By A Lady. Such books were 


soon imported and later imitated in works lik¢ 
Madame 


] 
Boston in 


Urbino’s Art Recreations, issued in 
186o. 

In 1859 that paintully elegant penwoman 
Mrs. Ellet published her Women Artists in All 
lees and Countries. The very tact that such a 
book was compiled and issued in this country 
is perhaps not without significance to our sub 
ject. It is an odd compound of literary piracy, 
scholarship, and sentiment, braced with a mild 
reveals 


grade of feminism. The introduction 


that Mrs. Ellet found most of her book ready 
made (except for translation) in Professor Ernst 
Guhl’s Die Frauen in die Kunstgeschichte, pub 


lished in Berlin in 1858. To this learned work 





\Ivs. Ellet added five chapte rs ok Women artists 
ol the nineteenth century culled from various 
sources. Lhe last three chapters are devoted to 
\merican women. 

\ great many of the ladies listed here wer 
never much more than amateurs, but she had 
discovered about filftv American female artists 
and hints that many more could be mentioned 
There were plenty of miniature painters, a few 
art teachers (Mrs. Ball Hughes, Mrs. Chapin 
and Miss Hamilton), there was a small but solid 
corps of sculptresses (Mrs. Lupton, Mrs. Wil 
son, Mrs. Dubois, all amateurs, and the profes 
Hattie Hosmer, 


sionals, then quite youl 


“u 
1g, 


Louisa Lander, Margaret Foley, and Emma 


Stebbins). Among the painters named were 
Eliza Greatorex, Phoebe Pickering Jenks, and 
Mary Swinton Legare, a Carolina blue-stocking 
“Could T but 


paint one picture like Doughty's!” Her View on 


who was olten heard to exclaim, 


the French Broad (a Carolina River) was pun 
chased by the proprietors of the Art Union in 
1534. 

In general the progress of the female artists 
before 1860 may be traced by the exhibition 
record of the National Academy of! Design (re 
Miss Bartlett 


The year following the foundation of the Aca 


cently compiled by Cowdrey) 
demy five women painters and onc sculptress 
were elected to the rank of “Artist of the Aca 
demvy” and in 1828 they were all promoted in 
\lember. None 


ol these ladies is very well remembered today. 


rank to Associate or Honorary 
Phe lonely sculptress was Mrs. Francis L. Lup 
ton, and the others in this vanguard of profes 
Miss Hall. 


famous for her miniature copies of paintings 


sional women artists were: Anne 
by the old masters; Miss Julia Fulton, daughtet 
of Robert; Miss Peale, 
Rembrandt, and the Misses Emily and Maria 
\Iaverick. 


Between 1830 and 1860 about eighty women 


Rosalba daughter of 


exhibited at the National Academy of Design. 
most of them miniature painters. In those years 
only Jane Sully of Philadelphia was elected an 
Honorary Member (1831). However, five other 
ladies were singled out for election as Associ 
ates. These were three ol some social promi 


nence, Mrs. James Bogardus (miniaturist), Miss 


112 

















Emma Stebbins (crayon portraitist), Mrs. Cot 
nelia Dubois (an amateur sculptress and bette 
known as a founder of the Children’s Hospital), 
and two prolessional painters Mrs. Hermine 
Dassell (a German immigrant trained in Dussel 
dort) and Mrs. Lilly Martin Spencer of Newark, 
the best of all of them, who captivated the local 
connoisseurs with her humorous genre scenes. 

At the 


ground work had been marked out for the de 


beginning of the Civil War all the 


vi lopm«e nts of the last three decades of the cen 


tury. In the war years women artists contri 
buted their paintings to be sold in the art gal 
leries of the Sanitary Fairs to raise money fon 
the wounded soldiers. Other women served as 
active members of the organizing committees 
of the art departments of these fairs. This prec 
edent doubtless had its effect later on the tor 
mation and activities of the Women’s Commit 
tee of the Centennial Exposition in Philadel 
phia in 1876 and resulted in the grand flourish 
and procedural pomps of the formidable 
Board of Lady Managers at the World’s Colum 
bian Exposition in Chicago in 1898. 
Shortly after the Civil War a Ladies Art 


ciation was founded in New York (1867) and in 


\sso 


the late sixties a few very determined American 
girls forced their way into the ateliers of Paris, 
hot on the heels of their brother artists. Several 
\merican sculptresses had already appeared in 
Rome in the 1850's. Soon serious female art 
students from America could be found scattered 
in the countryside around Paris under white 
canvas sketching umbrellas. 

\s the years passed, more and more American 
girls found the means to study abroad for a 
year. Many of them, quite poor, had skimped 
and scraped along at home for years saving up 
lor the great adventure. An historical document 
which most faithfully reveals the character and 
habitat of the feminine art student of the seven 
tics and eighties, her teachers, her boarding 
houses, her fears and delights, and her dress 
maker’s bills, is a little book published in 1879 
May May (Madame 


Nieriker), the artist of the Alcott clan. 


by Louisa Alcott’s sister 


While Louisa was grinding out her stories 


Pan) 


(“moral pap for the young”), establishing hei 


self as a major force in shaping the minds of 





{rt student sketching in Normandy. From the 
“Monthly Illustrator.” 


ISOS 


generations of American women, her sister May 


endeavored to start an art class in Concord 
She drew about her all the talented girls of the 
neighborhood, and two young mecn, later to be 
famous sculptors, also owed her much tor in 


spiration and encouragement (Edwin Elwell 


and Daniel Chester French). But May was al 
ways especially interested in helping girls who 
wished so earnestly to study art. Miss May’s 


ereatest contribution in this direction ts het 
book Studying Art Abroad and How to Do It 
Cheaply. It is full of prudent and practical ad 
vice on where to buy sturdy ready-made unde 
garments as well as cheap art materials in Lon 


The 


the higher price of passage on a 


don and Paris timid voyager is told that 
Cunarder” is 
worth the extra ¢ x pense because of the sense ol 
fatherly protection given by the gallant cap 
tains. Girls who were not too proud were ad 


take 


ereat saving on laundry bills. Suitable sketching 


vised to paper collars and culls for the 


grounds for “booking” picturesque and saleable 


potboilers are minutely described. In London 


11S 








{nna Elizabeth 


Klumphke (1856 19042) Gift of the artist. 


Portrait of Rosa Bonheur, by 


I9Q@22 
she says, the whole history of painting “trom 
Cimabue to Rosa 
one at the National Gallery; however, the copy 


Bonheur” is spread before 


found there are a light-minded and 
Fo “black silk’ 
of the must 


ists to be 


idle set, very annoying. your 


the “little 
go to Hilditch’s for durable stuff at low prices. 


basic dress” time) you 


“All Paris,” she says, “is apt to strike the new 


comer as being but one vast studio” and a 


sketching excursion in the country “‘is like open 


ing a portfolio of sketches by Millet.” In the 


city the “‘well ventilated” atelier of Monsiew 
Krug, 11 Boulevard Clichy, “devoted to female 
students in all branches of art” is especially 


recommended, for there “one has the advan 


tage of severe and discriminating . criticism 

from Monsieur Carl Miller, the painter of 
the well-known Conctergerie During the Reign 
of Terror.” Since the students in this atelier 
were all women “the much discussed question 
of the propriety of women’s studying from thc 
1ude”’ in mixed classes never arose. 
\ tour of the 


tists of both sexes, says Miss May, revealed that 


Paris studios of American a} 


in general the work of American women was 


far superior and, what is somewhat surprising 


114 


far stronger in style than most olf that done by 
the men.” Always excepting, of course, the work 
of Mr. John Sargent. No other man exhibits “in 
his pictures the splendid coloring always to be 
found in the work of Miss Casatte (Mary Cas 
satt) of Philadelphia, or the strength and vigor 
of Miss Dodson’s Deborah.” 

Rome was, in her estimation, a place much 
better suited for the student of sculpture than 
for the painter, but any girl planning to winter 
in Rome should prepare herself with plenty ot 
flannel petticoats, and a copy of Hawthorne's 
Varble Faun. 

At first the had 
gaining admittance to classes in American art 


ladies some difficulties in 


schools. A writer of the eighties recalls that 
not twenty-five years ago, the appearance of a 
young lady student in the antique room of the 
Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts created . 
a sensation. When a few years later, a life class 
for women was begun, it almost created a riot.’ 
During the winter season of 1871-1872 the Na 
tional Academy ol Design, after a great deal of 
hemming and hawing, opened its 
The 
women were not resumed on the feeble plea ol 
‘lack ol 


one of the main factors in bringing about the 


Students’ League 


doors to 


women. following year the classes fon 


funds.” This short-sighted move was 


organization of the Art 


(1875). Ten years later it was believed that no 
artistic center in Europe offered so many ad 
vantages to women studying art as New York 

Some of the leading lady artists of the 1870's 
were Mrs. Henry A. Loop, the portrait painte. 
Adele 


dous group picture The Electoral Commission 


Cornelia Fassett, who sold her tremen 


in Open Session to Congress lor $15,000 (it con 
tained 258 recognizable portraits); and Eliza 
beth Jane Gardner, who later became Madame 
Bougereau. The 


iS88o’'s included Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, dis 


younger generation of the 


ciple and biographer of Rosa Bonheur; Ella 
Condie (Mrs. Lamb), who designed church fur 
nishings; Caroline Powell, the illustrator; and 
Helena deKay Gilder, in whose front parlor the 
rebel Society of American Artists was organ 
‘77, All these 


found listed in Clara Clement's 


of the 


and many more are to be 
171 and 1) 


(187Q) 


ized in 


fasts 


Vineteenth ¢ Century 








In the 1880's, especially alter Oscar Wilde's 
lecture tour in 1882, a great number of schools 
of decorative or applied arts were started. Even 
societies in obscure 
had 
drawing and design classes. The artistically in 
clined ladies who could afford neither the time 


the Christian Endeavor 


towns in the hinterland their evening 


nor the money for an art tour of Europe, o1 
New York, were, 


however, not idle. Those who could not paint 


even for a year of study in 


flowers as prettily as Miss Fidelia Bridges, or 
kittens snarled in yarn as skillfully as Miss 
Elizabeth Bonsall, began to turn their hands to 
the produc tion of what were known as “House 
hold elegancies”—embroidered plush lambre 
kins and portieres painted with cattails. China 
painting became a raging mania even though 
“it must be confessed .. . that the odors of vio 
let, which are supposed to float from the pres 
ence of refined womanhood, are sadly overcome 
by the combined fragrance of turpentine and 
lavender or—worse—oil of aniseed, which pet 
sistently haunt the porcelain painter's studio.” 
Che field of applied art was almost exclusively 
populated with women who, with varying skill 
embellished everything they touched. 

In the last decade of the nineteenth century 
(merican had 
goal of full equality with men. Many Ameri 


women artists achieved thet 
can women were not only supporting them 
selves as professional artists, they were also 
competing successfully for honors at the An 
nual Paris Salons as well as at the annual ex 
hibitions at home. Though several cash prizes 
were established as annual awards for women 
painters none of the men seemed to think this 
rhe Mary Smith Prize given 


Pennsylvania awarded 


discriminatory. 
by the Academy was 
with almost monotonous regularity to Miss Ce 
celia Beaux. Women artists readily found em 
ployment as teachers of drawing, design, anat 
omy, as well as china-painting, in the schools 
which sprang up after the Centennial Exposi 
tion, 

Perhaps the full realization of the changed 
illustrated by 


status of women artists is best 


their prominence at the World’s Columbian 
Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and here most 
especially in the Woman's Building. There was 





Pupils of Lorado Taft working on s¢ ulpture 


for the Chicago / x position, IS02 


a Woman’s Pavilion at the Centennial in Phila 
delphia in 1876 but this, compared with the 
a faint indication ol 
Philadelphia 


later building, was only 
what the ladies could do Lhe 
Woman's Pavilion housed an array of tortured 
the carving girls of the 


ot Woman 


woodwork made by 
Cincinnati Art 


modeled in butter, and quantities of needle 


Academy, a status 


work. Things were very different in Chicago 
eighteen years later. In 1893, by decree of Mrs 
Potter Palmer and the Board of Lady Mana 
gers, there rose a stately plaster palace facing a 
lagoon full of gondolas imported direct from 
Venice. It was designed in the Italian Renats 
sance style approved by the best academic tast 


architect, Miss 


Sophia G. Hayden, recently graduat d from the 


Vechnology, thoug!] 


ot the Ecole des Beaux Arts. The 
Massachusetts Institute of 
a competent draughtswoman, had never super 
of her de 


toa 


vised the actual construction ol one 


State ol 


signs. She, poor girl, was driven 
mental collapse by the conflicting and impel 


whims of the 


lloweve} the 


OUS architectural ladies of the 


Board structure was complete 


115 





m time and Miss Sophia accepted her thou 
sand dollar prize, her expenses, and a precious 
letter ol congratulation trom the dean of Ame 
ican architects, Richard Morris Hunt. 

\ll matters of art were placed in the capable 
md practiced hands ol Mrs. Candace Wheele. 
founder of the Decorative Arts Society), who 
was known as “the artistic genius of the Wom 
ins Building Phe decoration of this build 
ing—the architectural sculpture and the mural 
decorations were all the work of American 
women artists. It housed all sorts of things ol 
interest to women and things made by women, 
ranging trom a model kindergarten to a faintly 
Babylonian lounge on the rool known as “the 
Hanging Gardens.” The display of women’s 
its and handicralts was astonishing in size and 
variety; perhaps the most novel exhibit was the 
work of a lady blacksmith trom California. Phe 
paintings were in large part a mass of academic 
banality, no better, and certainly no worse than 
the chet d’oeuvres offered by the men in the 
Palace of Fine Arts near by. One of the prin 
( ipal exhibits was a collection of relics ol Queen 
Isabella of Spain, that noble woman who 
pawned her jewels to pay Columbus's way on 
his epoch-making voyage. And there was Grace 
Darling’s lifeboat surrounded by incredibl 
quantities of lace culled trom all the royal 
houses ol Europe. 

One work of art that was a notable exception 
to the general level in this Woman’s Building 
was a mural decoration painted by Mary Cas 
satt. From the beginning the Board of Lady Man 
agers was rather miffed about this work because, 
though all the other women artists rushed to 
contribute their works free, Miss Cassatt, who 
knew the value of her time, demanded pay 
ment. When the mural was unveiled in the 
court of honor it was received with pained ex 
pressions and a good deal of rather shrill criti 
cism. Everyone prelerred the walls decorated by 
Mrs. Frederick MacMonnies or by Lydia Em 
met and her sister Rosina. 

Miss Cassatt had been given the subject Mod 
ern Woman. On the wall opposite was Mary 
MacMonnies’ Primitive Woman for contrast. 
Primitive woman was a tame allegorical poste 


showing women doing the ancient tasks that 


women should—caring tor the young, wrestling 


with the rudimentary loom, and meekly toting 
water jars on their heads. Miss Cassatt’s Modern 
Woman, on the other hand, seemed to be doing 
things she shouldn't. One of the principal 
troubles was that Miss Cassatt treated her wall 
space as a decorative problem and not at all as 
a sounding board for the feminist propaganda 
then rampant. For her there was no room for 
allegorical commonplaces acted out by sweet 
faced prairic belles in classic robes. Though het 
subject was treated as a flat color pattern, obvi 
ously influenced by Japanese print design, it 
was certainly not without meaning. 

In fact, as one studies the pictures of this 
mural today, the feeling grows increasingly 
strong that this decoration was perhaps a most 
pointed and telling comment on the modern 
woman of 1893. Miss Cassatt was noted in hei 
day for he sharp tongue and her down-to-earth 
opinions. She was reputed to be one of the few 
people who could match words with the notori 
ously vitriolic Degas, her triend and master. 
One feels sure that there was small place in het 
vocabulary for platitudes about “the nobility 
of American womanhood,” that favorite phrase, 
that battle cry of the time, or platitudes about 
anything for that matter, except, perhaps 
babies, an amiable feminine weakness 

The mural, a long horizontal with an arched 
top, was divided into three panels. In the cen 
tral panel a group of women and children in 
pink dresses wander in a sun-flecked orchard 
gathering apples. “Apples?” the Board of Lady 
Managers asked themselves; were these merely 
country girls frolicking among the winesaps o1 
were they modern Eves pilfering the bitter fruit 
of the tree of knowledge? Bad as this central 
panel seemed there was worse on either side. In 
the panel on the left were shown a nude girl 
soaring into space and three women running 
after her in joyous abandon across a grassy 
meadow pursued by hissing geese. “Geese?” 
How very perverse and impertinent of Miss 
Cassatt. In the panel on the right were shown 
two women seated on the grass, one playing a 
guitar, and behind them danced a girl whirling 
her skirts in the most shockingly carefree man 


ner, quit like those shameless lost creatures 


116 











who pranced in the tawdry sideshows of the 
Midway. 

Lhe Ladies of the Board were not only em 
barrassed, they did not know whether they were 
being outrageously teased or flatly insulted 
Modern Woman was quite too sacred a subject 
to be treated flippantly with geese and skirt 
lancers, and surely this was no place to bring 
up an uncomlortable Bible story even though 
it most certainly did revolve around a woman 
Miss Cassatt had evidently been exposed alto 
vether too long to the debilitating shams of for 


gn society and had forgotten how seriously 


reanized American women could take them 
selves. She was, unfortunately, so prominent as 
in artist, and so well connected socially, that 
the mural could not be withdrawn; besides they 
had been forced to pay for it. It could, however, 
be ignored, and in the official history of the 
Fair no picture of it appears. 

In the turmoil of closing the exposition this 
interesting painting by the best and most im 
portant American woman artist of the time 
seems to have been lost or mislaid—perhaps it 
was deliberately destroyed—perhaps it is buried 
in some dusty Chicago loft or storeroom, await 
Ing rediscovery 

By the end of the century the Emancipated 
Woman was (except for the power to vote) a 
gloriously realized actuality. Everyone was 
reading George du Maurier’s Tirilby, and every 
girl thought she could be an artist’s inspiration 
and model, if not an artist. A sub-species of the 
Emancipated Woman was the Truly Artistic 
Woman, a pre-Raphaelitish creature, an aesthe 
tic literary phenomenon, who appeared in flow 
ing dun-colored robes adorned with stylized 
stenciled tulips. She could talk knowingly about 
art and artists though she never touched brush 
to canvas. 

\s the new century loomed upon the horizon 
women, as well as men, faced its dawning ready 


But 


condemning 


for what it might bring. murmurs were 
what 
One ol 


the value of her 


heard from Boston was 


known as “Feminine Bohemianism.” 


these Bohemians, doubting 


hard-won freedoms, wrote: “The great outsid 
world sees only the jolly chafing-dish side of fe 
Phe man who has pat 


male Bohemianism 





ticipated in the creating of a Welsh rarebit and 


has tossed his cigarette-stumps into the grate 
while he told ludicrous stories, sometimes with 
a bit of ginger in them, needs no exposition of 
this side of the question. He perhaps never 
dreams that those same girls who know how to 
entertain so royally, and laugh so merrily 

in their cosy dens... know, too, how to conceal 
an aching heart beneath a mask of smiles.” 

But in spite of the heartache and the perils of 
life in the city to which the girls were exposed, 
they remained faithful to the arts, though only 
a few won through to affluence and great repu 
tation. They made wondertul teachers, they 
were dexterous and clever and very adaptable as 
pupils. Some could imitate the works of then 
masters, Hunt, Chase, LaFarge, and Eakins so 
closely as almost to defy detection. ‘There was 
Caroline May of Boston, a pupil of Allston’s 
who worked in his style, and later many women 
worked in the hazy manner of Hunt. There was 
Miss Charlotte Coman who could turn out a 
good “misty Corot” landscape with ease and 
countless lady animal-painters who followed in 
the footsteps of that old master Rosa Bonheur, 
notably Matilda Lotz, who specialized in por 
traits of camels. 

In the nineties “the regenerative influence ol 
the girl student” was noticeable in taming down 
the Bohemian atmosphere of the art schools. 
and the men mourned the good old carefree 
days in'75 before the schools were overrun with 
women. In fact American women painters 
seemed to be everywhere—they were working In 
Tokyo and Biskra as well as in the more usual 
foreign art centers. When the Empress of China 
consented to have her portrait painted by a 
foreign devil Miss Kate Carl of New Orleans 
was selected for that honor. Women artists wer¢ 
painting and modeling, designing and decorat 
ing; no field of art was closed to them and in 
every field they were honored with prizes and 
commissions, some won in equal competition 
with men. 

However, in spite of prizes, medals, and fame, 
and unlimited opportunity, it was still main 
tained, in some quarters, that the greatest con 
tribution to the world of art that could be made 


by any woman was to be the mother of a genius 


118 











A TREATMENT FOR PANEL 
PAINTINGS 


By MURRAY PEASE 


{ssociate Curator in Conservation and Technical Researcl 


Custodians of old paintings are all too familia 
with the response of paintings on wooden 
panels to their atmospheric environment. Panel 
paintings exposed to our annual cycle of sum 
mer humidity and winter kiln-drying interior 
conditions are quite likely to behave as im 
promptu humidity gauges. Even institutions 
fortunate enough to have air-conditioning must 
face this vexing problem whenever they con 
template lending paintings. 

For many years a commonly accepted pre 
servative treatment for panel paintings has been 
cradling. A cradle is an attractive piece of cabi 
netmaker’s craft when well made, and that is 
usually the case. A typical example is shown on 
page 120. The construction, which is quite stand 
ardized, consists of crisscrossed wooden battens 
attached to the back of the panel, which has 
been planed smooth to receive them. The bat 
tens parallel to the grain of the panel wood are 
glued to it; the transverse ones are free, passing 
through notches or slots cut in the panel side of 
the fixed members. These battens, in theory, re 
inforce the panel and prevent it from warping, 
while at the same time allowing for expansion 
and contraction across the grain. The question 
is how well the theory fits the actual behavior 
of a painted wooden panel. 

It is generally known that in untreated wood 
the changes in dimension with atmospheric va 
rilation—expansion with humidity and shrink 
age with lack of it—are chiefly across the grain 
Ihe changes with the grain are negligible. It is 
less well known that such changes in a painted 
panel take place chiefly at the back of the panel, 
those at the painted side being extremely slight 
(Tests made at the Courtauld Institute in Lon 
don have shown that this is true even under 
exaggerated laboratory test conditions.) This 
explains the familiar panel warp, convex on the 


painted side. The active force operates in a 


curve rather than laterally (as allowed tor 
the cradle). 

Furthermore, over a long period of time 
wood shrinks permanently and progressively. It 
continues to respond to humidity variations 
but it never returns to its original state. Any 
treatment that does not provide for this pro 
gressive warping, as well as the movement due 
to temporary atmospheric changes, can be ex 
pected to cause trouble. 

Ihe cradle’s design reflects misapprehension 
of these facts. Its cross-members are made [ree 
to allow for lateral movement which does not 
take place. On the other hand it opposes by 
fixed rigidity the inherent tendency of the 
panel to assume what would be a simple, rela 
tively harmless over-all warp. This tendency ts 
an active force measurable in many toot-pounds 
of energy, which must find some release. The 
commonest result is the transformation ol the 
all-over warp into a series of local warps. Thes« 
pinch and lock the supposedly free transvers 
cradle members so that the cradle’s one claim to 
functional design is canceled. Between the cor 
rugations actual splits are now likely to dé 
velop. At these splits there is danger that the 
paint will be crushed and sheared 

Not all paintings that have been cradled have 
suffered noticeably, although in the healthy 
cases observed other preventives have usually 
been present, such as heavy coatings of wax o1 
paint on the back, which have tended to inhibit 
warping and thus to reduce the conflict between 
panel and cradle. Unhappily, however, our mu 
seums and private collections are crowded wit! 
tangible evidence that most cradles not only fal 
in their purpose, but actually endanger the 
preservation of both panel and paint 

For the benefit of those who may have over 
looked or misunde rstood this evidence, certal 
} / 


voices ol acceptabl authority have been raised 


119 








Painting from a private collection, one of a 
Viartini. The co) 


Nealtions follow thre horizontal panel grain 


SPIES attributed to Simone 


at American Association olf Museums mectings 
and in print. For instance, an excellent study ol 
thie proble m by David Rosen was published in 
Novembe) 


cradling, firmly entrenched behind a barricade 


the Magazine of Art tor igqi. But 
of established tradition, and representing an 


important item in the repertory ol the art 


restoring trade, continues to flourish. Uhis may 


be understandable in a business which is but 
slowly emerging from the cupping and blood 
letting stage of its development, but unfortu 
nately the practice is not confined to comme) 
cial operations. kon example, it was recently 
announced that all the panel paintings in a 
museum collection of national importance had 
been newly cradled. 

It is hoped that publication of one of the sey 
eral alternative treatments may help to stimu 
late a more thoughtful approach to this prob 
lem. The following brief outline describes a 
technique developed some years ago by the De 
partment of Conservation of the Fogg Museum 


of Art. It has since been employed successfully 





many times, both there and at the Metropolitan 
\luseum. It is designed to correct an inherent 
tendency, rather than to combat it. If we can 
inhibit a panel’s response to humidity changes, 
the unwelcome results will not ck velop. Phere 
will be no excuse tor resorting to the strait 
jacket constriction of cradling. 

Phe treatment is not put forward as a uni 
versal cure ail: the problem iS too comple x and 
too variable for simple, fool prool remedies o} 
mass-production methods. [Phe details can, and 
should, be varied considerably according to the 


tol 


opera 


specific requirements of each case. But the 


lowing steps are characteristic of most 
tions. 

First, controlled moisture ts applied to the 
reverse, Causing the panel temporarily to r¢ 


Conveniently, the 


sume its original flat state, 
wood tends to do its own regulating in this 
shallow warps flatten slowly, acut 


Process 


ones rapidly—until at the end of this stage the 


panel iS pertectly flat, without external pres 


sure or internal stresses. To facilitate moisture 











Cradle on the back of the panel above. The 
fixed horizontal battens follow the grain, and 


the vertical members are free. 


20 





absorption, channels are cut in the reverse. 
| hese 2rOOVeS also scrve othe Purposes. | hey 
reduce the panel's capacity to re-warp by ren 
dering discontinuous the side prone to shrink. 
They also provide anchorage for additional 
construction. The channels are cut in depth 
and spacing proportional to the thickness of 
the panel, minimizing the danger of later con 
rugation or splitting. 

Next, all the reverse surfaces of the wood are 
impregnated, under radiant heat, with a pene- 
trating, thermoplastic adhesive. The Museum’s 
formula is bleached beeswax, seven parts, Singa- 
pore dammar resin, two parts, and gum elemi, 
one part. This adhesive runs treely at a safe 
temperature, about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Mixed to a thick paste with inert filler—such as 
chalk or whiting—it also forms the “mortar” 
for cementing the elements to be added. The 
photographs on pages 122 and 129 illustrate a 
typical form of the latter construction. Red 
wood, because of its lightness, resilience, and 
resistance to moisture, is used for the strips that 
fill the channels and cover the back of the panel 
surface. Unbleached Irish linen forms a uniting 
web, and hardwood dowels, bedded in trenches, 
supply longitudinal rigidity. A final sealing 
laver 1s composed of linen in the wax-resin ad 
hesive. The various elements are set in the mon 
tar one by one. Local heating, to keep the mor 
tar fluid under manipulation, is supplied by 
enclosed radiant heat lamps and by a small, 
electrically heated iron, hay ine a spec ial we dor 
shaped bit for spreading and working the mot 
tar. Lightly installed press-jacks or moderati 
weights are used to hold the parts in place until 
the mortar cools enough to take hold. 

Phe technical data which dictated this method 
are too extensive to be included here, but they 
are available tor professional reference. A few 


general comments may serve to outline the opel 








Side view ol the Saint Bartholomew panel 


Showing the fairly acute all-over warp. The 


distortion 1s unsightly rather than dang rous 








The VIuseum’s Saint Bartholome wis from thie 


sane SeVleS, painted On tlre sane ood. will 


hor ontal VAN. lt has not been ¢ idle ad 


ating theory. As already stated, the basic pu 
pose is to discourage movement rather than to 
oppose it by constriction. Phe panel is thor 
oughly barricaded by a thick layer of non-ab 
sorbing materials against the chiel cause ol 


movement atmosphe ric fluctuations More 


OVeCT, ILS Capacity LO MOVE is greatly reduced by 


the channels cut in the reverse and filled with 


inerts. wax and redwood. [The several added 


components are notably bland, stable, and un 


responsive . but each suppties a kind of stre neth 


which is roughly comparable to that of the orig 


inal wood. Wax is one ol the most PCrinbale il 


ol organic materials, and one of the best mois 


ture barriers. The resinous ingredients add 


firmness and adhesive qualities Phe imert till 


adds hardness. Among woods, redwood com 


bines with lightness and resilience high resist 


ance to rot, uniform grain, and adequat 


streneth. Unbleached linen has high tensile 
strength and long lite especially when seale 
against moisture by the wax Lhe sizes are con 


| ‘ 
mensurate: the slots cut in tl 


] | 
| 


it PATE dle ClOS 


12] 








Phe photographs on these two page s show steps in the treatment described in this article. 





Moist cotton wicks are laid in channels cut in the back of the panel. 





Redwood strips are set in the channels with wax-resin adhesive and inert fille 





Hardwood CrOSS pieces and linen fabri in thre sane adlhve Slve add reinforcement 





The back of the panel after the treatment is completed 


123 








{ nough tor thea 


and shallow enough to pre 


vent washboarding 
1 hie 


materials 


I he redwood SUPIps fit 


the slots snugly balanced variety of mutu 


i\ compatible 


and thre 1} isolation 


one from another by the wax 


mortal pre vent 


any one element trom putting a strain upon the 
I he phy 
sical operations involved are messy but not dith 


othe rs, ol upon the part | AS a whol 


cult to and 


mastel 


thie equipment needed. is 





not too extensive for a modest museum labora 
tory. Lhe process Is sale, requiring Littl pres- 
sure and relatively low heat. Removal of the 
entire backing, should it be 


necessary, can al 
ways be accomplished simply by re-warming the 


adhesive. Considered as a unit, the construction 


represents an assembly of passive elements 


firmly united, like a clubfull of old gentlemen, 


1k COMMON acce ptance ol 


immobility. 


THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART 


OFFICERS 
William Church Osborn, Honorary Pr: 
Roland L. Redmond, President 
Elihu Root, Jr., Vice-President 
Chomas I? Watson, Vice-President 
Robert Lehman, Vice-President 
Dudley T. Easby, Jr., Secretar) 
J. Kenneth Loughry, 7reasure 


TRUSTEES EX OFFICIO 
William O’Dwyer, Mayor of the City of New York 
Lazarus Joseph, Comptroller of the City of New York 
Robert Moses, Commissioner of the Def irtment of 


Hobart Nichols, President Of the National Academ) 


ELECTIVE TRUSTEES 

Arthur W. Page 
Roland L. Redmond 
Nelson A. Rockefeller 
Elihu Root. Jr. 

John Godfrey Saxe 
Arthur Hays Sulzberger 


lavlor 


Henry C. Alexander 
Walter C. Baker 

Harry Payne Bingham 
Cornelius N. Bliss 
John W. Davis 
Dwight D. Eisenhower 
Marshall Field 

Walter S. Gifford 
Devereux C, Josephs 


Francis Henry 


Mvron C. Tavlor 


Thomas J. Watson 
Vanderbilt Webb 
Francis M. Weld 
Arnold Whitrides 


Samuel H. Kress 

Robert Lehman 

Henry R. Lu 

Irving S. Olds 

William Church Osborn 
Horace Havemever. Advisory 7/ é 


THE STAFF 
ADMINISTRATION 

Francis Henry Taylor, Directo 
Horace H. F. Jayne, Vice-Dire 
Dudley T. Easby, Jr., Secretar) 
J. Kenneth Loughry, 7reasurer 
Laurence S. Harrison, Business Admi? 
Robert P. Sugden, Registrar 
John J. Wallace, Superintendent 


EGYPTIAN AR 
\mbrose Lansing, Curat 
Ludlow Bull, Associate Curat 
William C. Haves. A ile ( 
Charles K. Wilkinson. ate Curator Vear I 


{ 
i? 


FAR EASTERN ARI 


Stephen Francis Voorhee 


GREEK AND ROMAN AR‘ 
Gisela M. A 
Christine Alexander. Acting ( 
Marjorie J. Milne. § Resea / 


Richter. fA 


NEAR EASTERN ARI 


Maurice S. Dimand. ( 


MEDIEVAL ART AND THE CLOISTERS 
James J]. Rorimer, Curat 
William H. Forsyth. A ile ( 
M irgaret B 


Freeman, A ate ( 


RENAISSANCE AND MODERN AR'I 
Preston Remington, ( 
C. Louise Avery, A ate ( 


John Goldsmith Phillips, A ( 
Faith Dennis, A ite ( 


rHE AMERICAN WING 
Joseph Downs, ( 


PAINTINGS 


l heodore Rousseau. iF - | 


Margaretta M. Salinger. Senior 


ARMS AND ARMOR 
. Grancsay, Curatl 


THE COSTUME INSTITUTI 


olaire \\ issman., ky il Lb) 
SPECIAL DEPARTMENTS 
lheodore Y. Hobby, Aeef B 
| ( 

Murrav Pease, A | 

] R 
s ( Ss pP ; ( ( 
. Goldsmi »] 


EDUCATION AND MUSEUM EXTENSION 
F.B 


riik LIBR 


PHE CATALOGU! 


INFORMATION AND ALES 


( Nf 














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