IMPORTANT MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES A short account of the collections, special exhibits and educa tional activities of the more important art museums of the world is given below.
British Museum, The, London, Eng., has two main divisions— the Library and the Departments of Antiquities. The Library of Printed Books is probably the largest in the world : the Depart ment of Manuscripts includes outstanding treasures such as the Codex Alexandrianus of the Greek Bible, the Lindisfarne Gospels of about A.D. 700, Queen Mary's Psalter of the 14th century, the great Cottonian, Harleian and Royal Collections of mss., the best collection of Greek papyrus from Egypt, and vast quantities of mediaeval and modern historical papers and literary The Print Room contains a large and well-balanced representation of drawings and every kind of print, with a growing Oriental col section which includes the finest representation of Chinese painting in Europe. In the Departments of Antiquities Greek sculpture stands out conspicuous through the possession of the Elgin Mar bles from the Parthenon at Athens, together with the Demeter of Cnidus, the Nereid Monument and the remains of the Mau soleum and the temples of Ephesus and Phigalia. The Egyptian collection is as fine as any outside Cairo, including notably the Rosetta Stone and large representative selections of sculpture, mummies, papyri and smaller objects. The Museum contains the recent revelations of Sumerian art of the fourth millenium B.c.
Victoria and Albert Museum, The, is located at South Kensing ton, London. Its primary object is to provide examples to illus trate the history of art, especially in relation to such manufac tures and crafts as are associated with decoration and design. In 1852 the Museum of Ornamental Art was established at Marlbor ough House, and at that time the collection consisted of speci mens, casts, etc., originally purchased for use in the School of Design, with objects acquired from the Great Exhibition of 1851.
The collections are classified by material and arranged in eight departments: ( 1) Architecture and Sculpture; (2) Ceramics ; (3) Engraving, Illustration and Design; (4) Library and Book Pro duction; (5) Metal Work; (6) Paintings; (7) Textiles; (8) Woodwork. The Department of Circulation consists of separate collections, not on exhibition, available for loan to other museums and schools of art. The museum's library contains about 150,000 volumes, dealing with fine and applied art, and a collection of about 250,000 photographs. (See LONDON.)
National Gallery, The, London, was founded in 1824, by the purchase of 38 pictures from the collection of J. J. Angerstein. The collection now contains about 1,75o works, exclusive of a considerable number at the National Gallery, Millbank (the Tate Gallery). The Gallery is unexcelled in the uniformly high quality of its pictures, and the number of masterpieces it pos sesses. Nowhere outside Italy is the Italian school so admirably represented, nor outside Holland, the Dutch school; while the col lections of Flemish, Spanish, German and French work, though small, are very choice. The group of English paintings is without an equal. Among the most famous paintings in the gallery are those by Duccio, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca (here repre sented by an unrivalled group), Leonardo da Vinci ("Madonna of the Rocks"), Michelangelo (notably "The Entombment"), Raphael (including the famous "Ansidei Madonna"), Correggio, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Jan van Eyck ("John Arnolfini and His Wife"), Rubens, Rembrandt, De Hooch, Ruisdael, Velasquez, Holbein, Reynolds, Constable and Turner.
Wallace Collection, The, London, was brought together chiefly by the third and fourth Marquesses of Hertford and the natural son of the latter, Sir Richard Wallace. It was bequeathed to the British nation by his widow, who died in 1897. The family resi dence of the Hertfords and of Wallace, Hertford House in Man chester Square, was subsequently purchased by the Government and, after adaptation, opened to the public in June 1900. The collection is remarkable both for the high quality of its pieces and its variety. The series of revolutions and political upheavals in France (1789-1871) provided the fourth Marquess of Hert ford and Sir Richard Wallace, both long residents in Paris, with unique opportunities for acquiring the chief treasures of the royal chateaux and the palaces of a ruined and disappearing nobility. French art of the 18th century is therefore the prevailing note of the collection. But the vigilance of their agents in England and elsewhere enabled them also to secure masterpieces of the first rank of the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch and English schools. What may be called the mediaeval section was added by Sir Richard Wallace, who bought en bloc two famous collections.