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August 31, 2021

“Joseph Presenting His Father and His Brothers to the Pharaoh,” François Boucher, c. 1723, oil on canvas, 57.9 x 72.7 cm (22-3/4 x 28-5/8 in), Columbia Museum of Art.

In late August, 29 Kress Collection paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque eras were brought from the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) in South Carolina to the Albany Museum of Art in southern Georgia - the first stop on the paintings’ grand tour. European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection samples the CMA’s rich collection of paintings that were gifted to the museum by Samuel H. Kress in the early 1950s.

“Girl with Black Dove,” Giuseppe Maria Crespi, c. 1715-30, oil on canvas, 64.5 x 48.3 cm (25-3/8 x 19 in), Columbia Museum of Art.

In 1954 and 1962 the CMA received two large Kress Collection donations; the first 1954 donation was a part of what was monikered the Great Kress Giveaway by Life Magazine. Given the delicate nature of these works, they have remained for the most part unmoved from the museum. According to CMA’s Mike Dwyer (Exhibition Designer and Chief Preparator) and Daniel Richardson (Preparator and Special Projects Designer), new packing and transport technologies have allowed for wood panel pieces to be traveled safely – something that would not have been possible just several years ago. While preparing for this exhibition for over four years, CMA preparators and curators worked with conservators to determine the best way to travel these paintings.

“The Trinity Adored by the Heavenly Choir,” Workshop of Jacopo Tintoretto, c. 1600, oil on canvas, 116.8 x 108.3 cm (46 x 42-5/8 in), Columbia Museum of Art.

European Splendors focuses on the Renaissance and Baroque eras of painting. Just a sampling of the CMA’s rich Kress Collection holdings, the exhibition features notable artists such as Tintoretto and François Boucher.

European Splendors will make four stops on its tour:

  • Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia (August 28, 2021 – December 26, 2021)
  • Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah (February 18 – July 31, 2022)
  • Columbia Museum of Art (September 23, 2022 – January 1, 2023)
  • Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, Arkansas (February 1, 2023 – May 14, 2023)

For a behind the scenes look at the traveling exhibition, please see the CMA’s video Framed: Kress on the Road:

More information about European Splendors first stop can be found on the AMA’s website: