A vivid guidebook to the Columbia Museum of Art's Renaissance collection
Established in 1950, the Columbia Museum of Art is the only public museum in South Carolina with an extensive collection of international art. This is thanks in no small part to significant donations from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation between 1954 and 1974, which have made the museum one of the nation's major depositories of Kress gifts of art. This catalogue serves as a striking visual reference to the museum's holdings in European art from the late Gothic period to the end of the Renaissance and includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, decorative bronzes, furniture, ceramics, stained glass, and textiles. In all, eighty-four pieces are presented in color illustrations and detailed in an art historical context to benefit scholars and researchers as well as interested museum visitors.
Fifty-six works of Renaissance art—several by such prominent figures as Bernardo Daddi, Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Andrea Solario, Mariotto Albertinelli, Albrecht Dürer, Parmigianino, Ambrosius Benson, Alessandro Allori, François Clouet, and Jacopo Tintoretto—are described by accomplished art historian Charles R. Mack and a team of researchers in catalogue essays that each provide an in-depth consideration of the artist's biography and contribution, the work, its provenance, and its history of attributions, ownership, and exhibition. The entries also describe such matters as condition, conservation history, and, in the case of paintings, the authenticity of frames. Arranged in chronological order by date of execution, the pieces in this section represent most of the museum's Kress materials. An additional twenty-six pieces are more briefly described in an illustrated checklist.
The volume also includes an essay on the formation and distribution of the Kress Collection and an essay on the history of medieval and Renaissance art, with particular attention paid to the museum's holdings. The catalogue concludes with three appendixes treating changes in attribution, the correlation of museum inventory numbers with catalogue numbers, and the correlation of 1962 Kress Collection catalogue numbers with new catalogue numbers. A subsequent volume will catalogue the museum's Baroque and Rococo art.
Charles R. Mack taught art history for thirty-five years at the University of South Carolina, where he was a Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts and the William Joseph Todd Professor of the Italian Renaissance. Mack is the author of Looking at the Renaissance: Essays toward a Contextual Appreciation, Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City, Talking with the Turners: Conversations with Southern Folk Potters, and Paper Pleasures: Five Centuries of Drawings and Watercolors. Since his retirement from teaching in 2005, Mack has continued to maintain his close working relationship with the Columbia Museum of Art.