In 1897 the Museum acquired, together with a collection of Greek vases now on exhibition, a large box of fragments of Attic ware. These fragments have lately been sorted with the result that parts of several black-figured vases of good style have been put together. Among the scenes depicted upon them are Theseus wrestling with the Minotaur; Heracles lifting the Erymanthian boar above the head of Eurystheus who has taken refuge in a jar; several four-horse chariots; an amusing scene of sporting satyrs; and Dionysiac revels. Noteworthy also are a fragment from a red-figured vase representing the first position of a discus thrower and a red-figured kylix depicting a youth writing on a tablet.
The Museum has just purchased a collection of antique glass consisting of about three hundred vases, together with a number of glass bracelets and necklaces. There are also in the collection a number of necklaces of amethyst, agate, rock crystal and carnelian. The entire collection came from Palestine and the greater part is of Roman manufacture and dates from the time when Palestine was a Roman province. There are, however, a number of pieces of more ancient date representing earlier stages in the manufacture of glass vessels. The collection, which has been made with care and intelligence, includes almost every category of vases and every technique of the glass blower. The vases show a great variety of form and many of them exhibit in a marked degree the brilliant iridescence which gives to the collection the effect of great variety in color. The collection will be fully described in a forthcoming number of the JOURNAL.
The antiquities sent to the Museum from the excavations last year in Crete were held at Piraeus on account of the war. This has caused them to be delayed for six months in reaching the Museum. Advices have now been received to the effect that they are on their way and will reach the Museum soon.
Mr. William Evans Wood has presented a pair of antique Pompeiian vases in the name of his father and mother, Horatio C. Wood and Abigail Wood.
The British School of Archeology in Egypt, through Prof. Flinders-Petrie, has presented to the Museum a granite sphinx with the head of Rameses II, discovered by Prof. Petrie last year on the site of ancient Memphis. This sphinx, which rests on an inscribed pedestal, is, with the exception of portions of the face, in a perfect state of preservation. It is now on its way from Cairo to Philadelphia.
Dr. Arno Poebel, who contributes the leading article in this number of the JOURNAL giving an account of his work in the Museum during the summer of 1912, has been engaged for five months beginning the first of June, to continue his work of copying and studying the historical documents contained in the collection of Babylonian tablets in the Museum.
The Heye Collections have been enriched by the addition of old North American ethnological specimens collected many years ago and until recently forming part of a public exhibition in England. Among the rarer objects in this collection are a buffalo hide shield, with painted cover, a finely wrought Nascape coat with characteristic decorations and three pairs of Nascape leggings decorated by the same method and in similar style to the coat. The collection also contains a number of very fine old eastern porcupine quill embroideries.
Mr. B. W. Leeson has been engaged to make a series of photographs of the Quatsino Indians in the northern part of Vancouver Island.
An ethnological collection from the Bushongo, consisting of choice selected articles, has been purchased from Mr. E. Torday, the African explorer. These articles were procured from the Bushongo by Mr. Torday during his last African expedition.
A remarkable ethnological collection consisting of 859 specimens representing New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Australia and British New Guinea has just been acquired by purchase. This collection contains many of the old and rare carvings of the aboriginal peoples of these several portions of Polynesia and Melanesia. The Australian part of the collection is entirely from the northern part of that continent in the vicinity of Torres Straits. Apart from the artistic quality presented by many of the objects in this collection, it represents the arms and armour, the domestic utensils, ceremonial objects, clothing, personal ornaments and musical instruments of the several different culture areas comprised in the geographical limits indicated.
An exchange of ethnological material has been effected with the Australian Museum at Sydney by which the Museum has acquired a valuable series of aboriginal weapons from New South Wales, West Australia, Queensland, North Australia and Central Australia.
Mr. Harvey M. and Mr. W. C. Watts have presented to the Museum a pair of ivory war trumpets and a small collection of other ivories from the Congo.
Accompanying the collection of Herrero ethnology recently purchased, is a valuable series of photographs of the Herreros made before the German war and showing their costumes and occupations.
A collection of thirty-five photographs of Oriental peoples has been received as a gift from Mrs. H. M. Story.
The American Association of Museums, which met in Philadelphia from June 3d to 5th, spent the forenoon of June 4th in the Museum for the inspection of the collections and the reading of papers.
The foundations of the extension of the new building have been finished and the walls have been erected to the level of the auditorium floor. The pillars supporting this floor and the floor itself, which are of reinforced concrete, are also in place.