An interesting Eskimo collection obtained at Chesterfield Inlet has recently been acquired by purchase. This collection consists of caribou skin costumes, bird skin costumes, harpoons, various utensils, weapons and carvings.
Three pieces of Rakka pottery and one of Rhages pottery were acquired at the sale of the General Brayton Ives Collection. Since that time a series of thirty pieces of Persian pottery has been bought. This collection contains several pieces of early Rhages ware with lustred glaze as well as other types assigned to the Rhages group of wares. It also contains several examples of the sixteenth century ware with patterns in brown copper lustre. In addition to the Persian pottery proper, there are in the collection a number of pieces of Damascus ware and of the Turkish ware usually called Rhodian. This collection of rare pieces will form the foundation of a collection of Persian and Turkish potteries in the Museum.
Four large Chinese garden vases of the late Sung and early Ming dynasties have been acquired by purchase. These four specimens were formerly exhibited as part of the Morgan Collection in the Metropolitan Museum.
One of the most interesting acquisitions recently made by the Museum is a series of eight Chinese paintings of the Sung Dynasty. Among these is one remarkable landscape by Hsü Shi-ch’ang. This landscape, which is on a piece of silk measuring 8 feet 8 inches by 8 feet 5 inches, is a supreme masterpiece of Sung painting and exhibits admirably the characteristic features of the painting of this classic period. The other paintings in the series, also on silk, all share the qualities of strength and spontaneity which mark the work of the Sung masters.
Three stone statuettes of the Wei and rang dynasties have been purchased. One represents Kwan-yin seated on a lion; another represents the same divinity standing and clad in elaborate draperies richly jewelled. The third represents Kwan-yin in high relief. In this example the goddess shows the side face; her body, which is shown full length, is covered with graceful flowing robes.
A cloisonné mirror with designs representing birds and flowers has been added to the Chinese collection. This piece, which is an early Ming production, is the second piece of these rare early cloisonnés which the Museum has recently acquired.
An ethnological collection from the South Seas, including specimens from Samoa, Tahiti, Hervey Islands, New Guinea, Fiji and Bougainville, containing in all over four hundred specimens, has been acquired by purchase.
Mrs. William F. Jenks has presented to the Museum thirty pieces of Kabyle pottery.
Mr. Alfred M. Collins has presented to the Museum on behalf of the Collins-Day South American Expedition, a collection of weapons, clothing and utensils obtained by the expedition from the Indians in Bolivia and western Brazil. The Collins-Day Expedition left Philadelphia on Christmas Day, 1914, and travelled by way of Moliendo in Peru to La Paz in Bolivia. From La Paz the expedition went to the headwaters of the Chapore and descended this river into the Mamore, and thence proceeded down the Madeira and the Amazon. The main object of this interesting and successful expedition was the collection of natural history specimens. At the same time opportunities were found for collecting data relative to the Indian tribes on the Chapore and the Mamore, especially the Yuracaras and the Joaquinanos.
Miss Siter has presented to the Museum, through Mr. J. G. Rosengarten, two Indian wampum belts.
Mr. Charles A. Brinley has presented a shell and fiber necklace obtained forty years ago from the Mohave Indians of California.
Mr. Charles J. Cohen has presented a Chinese necklace.
Mr. Martin Van Straaten of London, who paid a visit to America early in the year, loaned to the Museum four tapestries of the early seventeenth century. These tapestries, which measure thirteen feet square, represent figuratively Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Mr. Van Straaten, in returning to England, was lost with the Lusitania.
Mr. Louis Shotridge has gone to spend the summer among the Tlinkit Indians in Southeastern Alaska. Mr. Shotridge will be occupied in recording in the native language the myths and traditions of the Tlinkit and will also procure information relative to the practice of ceremonies among the tribes. He will also make ethnological collections.
Alexander Scott, Esq., who is now in India, will make ethnological collections for the Museum.
An additional appropriation has been made to Mr. H. U. Hall for the Siberian Expedition in order to enable him to complete his investigations among the tribes of northern Siberia.
Dr. Edith H. Hall, the Assistant Curator of the Mediterranean Section, well known as a classical archaeologist, was married on May 12th. Dr. Hall took her position in the Museum in 1912. Before this, she had taken part in the expeditions which the Museum supported in Crete and after her appointment as Curator in the Museum, continued to work in the same field. The results of these investigations are published in the Anthropological Series of the Museum. The classical collections have been entirely recatalogued and rearranged during the period of Dr. Hall’s curatorship and many important additions were made to these collections during that time. Dr. Hall’s services have been of the greatest value to the Museum.
Many scholars have expressed their appreciation of the recent publications of the Babylonian Section of the Museum. The works by Dr. Arno Poebel have especially elicited favorable comment. The following passage from a letter written by Prof. A. H. Sayce of Edinburgh and Oxford serves to indicate the estimation in which these volumes are held by the leading Oriental scholars.
“I have just returned to my Scotch home after having been in France for some months and have found a goodly feast of your Babylonian and Oriental publications waiting me. Many thanks for them. Let me congratulate you on the amount of valuable work which they represent and above all on the extraordinarily important texts which your Museum contains. The latter contribute the most important discovery made in the Assyriological field since Layard’s discovery of the Kouyunjik library. Poebel’s three new volumes will revolutionize our study of Babylonian history and Sumerian grammar.”