Harvard: Genesis of a Museum.
|Exterior of the Fogg Art Museum showing Georgian design, DP, 2006|
|Interior of Fogg Art Museum (cortile), DP, 2006.|
The Aesthetic Vision of a Collector: Grenville Winthrop
Albert Edward Sterner, drawing of Grenville Winthrop, black, red, and white chalk, brown wash, and charcoal on off-white laid paper, 48.2 x 35.7 cm.
Winthrop's tastes outstripped the renaissance as a result of reading the 19th century aesthete Walter Pater whose writings helped him to develop an aesthetic vision for his collection that would grow into over four thousand objects ranging from renaissance panels to statuettes of Tibetan deer. This aesthetic inclination helps to explain why there is such a bias towards English and French nineteenth-century art in his collection. The art of such painters as Blake, Burne-Jones, Moreau, Whistler and Watts suggested parallels between music and visual art, a central tenet of Pater's thought. The aesthetic side of collecting undoubtedly led Winthrop in the direction of Asian art, which is why Harvard has such a large collection of Jade and ceramics, which is obviously beyond the compass of this brief survey. Such exotic objects would accompany Western art in Winthrop's house in New York; and his Pre-Raphaelite and Ingres rooms would be ornamented by the inclusion of objet d’art as part of a personal and idiosyncratic vision. If Berenson was his first advisor, the second was his Harvard classmate, Francis Bullard. This individual helped Winthrop develop an interest in J. M. W. Turner. As a result of his association with Bullard, Harvard now has over four hundred prints by or after Turner. Though Winthrop was a member of a legal firm, he had no need to work since as a member of the New York branch of the Winthrop line, he inherited a vast amount of money which other captains of industry had to amass through hard work and empire building. Though wealthy men of Harvard usually embarked on the Grand Tour, Winthrop was not inclined to follow custom, and with Bullard's death in 1913, he resolved never to cross the Atlantic again. Henceforth, he disdained travel and would rely upon his art contacts to secure art for him "at arm's length." This was most successfully achieved with a third association between the collector and Martin Birnbaum, an art dealer and proficient amateur violinist. Birnbaum's tastes and experience were much extensive than Winthrop and with his help, works by artists such as Manet, Whistler, Sargeant, Winslow Homer, Ingres, Degas and Rodin would be secured. As a result of this collaboration there were many coups. Perhaps the most memorable was the trumping of the London National Gallery for an Ingres portrait of Mme Rieset, which Kenneth Clark- the director of the NG- would eventually pursue and discover on the walls of Winthrop's New York house! In addition to opening his collection to experts like Clark, Winthrop was a staunch supporter of education and made his collection available to many students. This may be why his collection eventually went to his alma mater, Harvard, though at one point it looked like it might have remained in New York, or even been gifted to Washington. However, Winthrop believed that his art should inspire a younger generation rather than going to a Washington for the "general public." Aristocratic snobbery played no part in this bequest. Winthrop was afraid that his collection might lose its distinctive character in a large museum, which it certainly would have in a museum like the Washington NG or the Metropolitan in New York. Today, both the public and the specialists can benefit from a truly impressive collection, a living monument to the persistence and vision of a unique collector.
William Blake, The Body of Abel found by Adam and Eve; Cain, who was about to bury it, fleeing from the Face of his Parents, c. 1809-21, watercolour, black ink and graphite on cream wove paper30.3 x 32.6 cm).
Edward Burne-Jones, Pan and Psyche, 1872-74, oil on canvas, 68. 8 x 53 cm.
Brief Analysis of Winthrop’s Paintings.
Charles Bird King, The Vanity of the Artist’s Dream (The Anatomy of Art Appreciation, Poor Artist’s Study, 1830, oil on canvas, 91. 3 x 76.1 cm.
Winslow Homer, Adirondack Lake, 1892, watercolour on white wove paper, 30.1 x 53.5 cm.
Nicolas Poussin, Mercury consigns Bacchus to the Nymphs of Nysa, 1657, oil on canvas.
Piero di Cosimo, The Misfortunes of Silenus, 1505-1510, Oil on panel, 80.1 x 129.3 cm
1) Exterior of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, photograph 2006.
2) Exterior of the Fogg Art Museum showing Georgian design, photograph, 2006.
3) Interior of Fogg Art Museum (cortile), photograph, 2006.
4) Albert Edward Sterner, drawing of Grenville Winthrop, black, red, and white chalk, brown wash, and charcoal on off-white laid paper, 48.2 x 35.7 cm.
5) The Osservanza Master, Christ in Limbo, 1440s, Tempera and gold on wood, 38 x 47 cm.
6) Giovanni do Paolo, Nativity, 1455, tempera on panel, 26 x 23.5 cm.
7) Sandro Botticelli, Mystic Crucifixion, c. 1500, Tempera on canvas, 73, 5 x 50, 8 cm.
8) Piero di Cosimo, The Misfortunes of Silenus, 1505-1510, Oil on panel, 80.1 x 129.3 cm
9) Nicolas Regnier, Self-Portrait with portrait of a Patron on an Easel, 1620-5, oil on canvas, 1623-24, Oil on canvas, 111 x 138 cm.
10) Nicolas Poussin, Mercury consigns Bacchus to the Nymphs of Nyssa, 1657, oil on canvas.
11) Photograph of Poussin room on ground floor (2006).
12) Ruisdael, Waterfall in a Mountainous Northern Landscape, 1665, Oil on canvas.
13) Canaletto, Piazza San Marco, Venice, c. 1730-5, oil on canvas, 76. 2 x 118. 8 cms.
14) Jacques Louis David, Emmanuel Joseph Sieyés, 1817, oil on canvas, 97.8 x 74 cm. (21)
15) Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Madame Frédéric Reiset, née Augustine- Modeste Hortense Reiset, 1846, oil on canvas, 59. 2 x 47 cm. (74)
16) Eugène Delacroix, A Turk Surrenders to a Greek Horseman, 1856, oil on canvas, 80 x 64.1 cm. (31)
17) Honoré- Victorin Daumier, The Print Amateur, c. 1855, oil on wood panel, 33 x 24 cm. (13)
18) Pierre Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Victor Chocquet, c. 1875, oil on canvas, 53.2 x 43.5 cm. (112)
19) Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait, September 1888, Arles, Oil on canvas, 62 x 52 cm.
20) Gustave Moreau, The Apparition, 1877, oil on canvas, 54.2 x 44.5 cm. (95)
21) William Blake, The Body of Abel found by Adam and Eve; Cain, who was about to bury it, fleeing from the Face of his Parents, c. 1809-21, watercolour, black ink and graphite on cream wove paper30.3 x 32.6 cm). (145)
22) Edward Burne-Jones, Pan and Psyche, 1872-74, oil on canvas, 68. 8 x 53 cm. (159)
23) George Frederick Watts, Ariadne, 1888-90, oil on canvas, 126.8 x 103 cm. (196)
24) John Singleton Copley, Nicholas Boylston, oil on canvas, 238.8 x 144.8 cm (94 x 57 in.) framed: 281.9 x 179.1 x 16.5 cm.
25) Charles Bird King, The Vanity of the Artist’s Dream (The Anatomy of Art Appreciation, Poor Artist’s Study, 1830, oil on canvas, 91. 3 x 76.1 cm. (205)
26) William Michael Harnett, Still Life with Bric-a-Brac, 1878, oil on canvas. 81.28 x 108.59 cm. (198)
27) Winslow Homer, Adirondack Lake, 1892, watercolour on white wove paper, 30.1 x 53.5 cm.(203)
28) John La Farge, The Dawn, 1899, oil on canvas, 79.06 x 86.09 cm. (206)
29) John Singer Sargeant, Man Reading (Peter Harrison or Nicola D’Inverno?), c. 1904-11, watercolour over graphite on white wove paper, 34. 9 53.5 cms. (208)
30) August Rodin, Vase Clodion (Lovers), c. 1880, black ink and gouache, with traces of graphite on tan wove paper, 18.9 x 14.5 cms. (114)
31) Eric Gill, Daphnis and Chlöe, Illustration for "Procreant Hymn", 1926, Black ink, watercolour, and gold paint on tracing paper, 12.8 x 10.2 cm (5 1/16 x 4 in.)
32) Photograph of renovation of museum, courtyard, completion date 2014..
 Kathryn Brush, “Marburg, Harvard, and Purpose Built Architecture for Art History, 1927” in Art History and its Institutions: Foundations of a Discipline (ed), Elizabeth Mansfield (Routledge, 2002), 65-84.
 Ibid, 70.
 But see Stephan Wolohojian, “A Private Passion” in the catalogue, A Private Passion: 19th Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, 2003. Nos below refer to catalogue.
 John O'Brian, preface by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman and Anne Wertheim Werner, Degas to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harvard University Press, 2006.