Unknown, (Mexican, Chiapas, Lacandon), Grotesque incense burner, 20th century, ceramic. Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Herbert D. N. Jones, Class of 1914. (21.1.10)_x1200
WCMA Blog

This Week in the Museum’s History

During World War II, the Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston were concerned about where to store their most valuable works. Here is an explanation written by the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1944, G.H. Edgell:

To show gratitude of the storage of their works during a difficult time, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston allowed the Williams College Museum of Art to put on an exhibition of paintings from the Boston Museum that were “on a special list of objects too precious to be loaned” once the end of the war seemed to be in sight.  You can read more about the arrangement and the exhibition in this PDF file. The exhibition “Masterpieces of Painting from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” opened this week 68 years ago. Here is a quote from the exhibition catalogue:

Also, to show their gratitude the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston gifted to the Williams College Museum of Art a wax facsimile of the alabaster head of King Mankaure in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SEG.6), shown here.

The original alabaster head is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

This is an interesting intersection of the histories of two museums and the broader events on the world stage from almost 70 years ago.

2 Responses to This Week in the Museum’s History

  1. Scott says:

    Really interesting stuff — I hope the series continues!

  2. Pingback: Scrapbooks Showcase the Impact of World War II at WCMA › Williams College Museum of Art

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