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Byzantine and Early Christian Art of the East

October 27 – November 15, 1931

This collection represents mainly objects of ecclesiastical use, vestments, ikons painted on panels or overlaid with metals, bronzes, mosaics, precious enamels, coins, ivories, glass, and illuminated manuscripts, besides ancient Coptic weaving from Egypt. All these are the background of the great Italian art before the Renaissance. The collection is lent by Museums and private collectors, as well as the famous dealers in New York who own rare examples of this ancient art. Some of these are enamels from the great Botkine collection in Russia. Many of the pieces were in the extensive Byzantine Exhibition held in Paris last spring.

In addition to these loans are painted copies of the recently discovered frescos from early monasteries in the Arabian desert, made for the Byzantine Institute of America; illuminated manuscripts from the University of Chicago libraries (which have one of the most valuable collections of old manuscripts); and among the facsimile reprints of famous manuscripts are the first sheets of the reprint of the marvelous manuscript purchased in 1928 by Mrs,. Edith Rockefeller McCormick and assigned to the New Testament Department of the University for study. Three volumes concerning the manuscript are being prepared for release by the University PRess, one with an introduction by Prof. Edgar J. Goodspeed, a second by Dr. D. W. Riddle, and a third by Dr. Harold R. Willoughby. Professor Shapley is making constant use of the Byzantine Collection in his course on "Early Influences in Christian Art."

Prepared for the Hyde Park Herald by the Exhibition Committee of the Renaissance Society.

This text is taken from a press release for the exhibition.


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