A LEAF FROM THE HUNGERFORD HOURS, in Latin, [Lincolnshire, c.1340s]
A leaf from the Hungerford Hours, one of a small surviving group of splendid early English Books of Hours: few such manuscripts exist with a production date before the mid-14th century, and the group includes such fine examples as the de Brailes Hours, the Harley Hours, the Egerton Hours, and the Taymouth Hours. The Hungerford Hours is now dismembered and its leaves scattered: the present leaf has sisters in important private collections and institutions such as the British Library (Add. MSS. 62106, 61887 (six leaves) and 72707), Stanford University Libraries (Acc. 2010-159), and the Lilly Library, Indiana University.
The manuscript is named from the obits of Robert Hungerford, 2nd Baron Hungerford (c.1400-1459) and his wife Margaret in the calendar, but was perhaps produced for the marriage of Alice Pateshull and Sir Thomas Wake: the original owners are depicted on the leaf illustrating the Te Deum in Matins of the Virgin; several other leaves include coats of arms, argent a fess sable between three crescents of the same (the arms of the Pateshull family). These are faced, below the miniature of the Annunciation opening the Hours of the Virgin, with a second shield, now largely erased, but with traces of a bar gules (the arms of Sir Thomas Wake, argent, 2 bars gules, in chief 3 torteaux, are consistent with this partly erased shield). Alice Pateshull's will of 1398 bequeaths her Book of Hours to her daughter Sybil.
There does not seem to be any record for Sybil Wake after 1398: it seems plausible that the manuscript entered the Hungerford family via her sister Anne, whose grandson, Sir Philip de Courtenay, in 1426 married Elizabeth Hungerford (c.1408-1476), daughter of Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford, and sister of Robert Hungerford, whose death is commemorated in the calendar. For a more detailed description of the history of the manuscript and its proposed re-dating, see C. de Hamel and S. Cooper, 'The Hungerford Hours', Tributes to Adelaide Bennett Hagens: Manuscripts, Iconography, and the Late Medieval Viewer, 2017, pp.355-369.
Visible area of leaf in double-sided frame: 140 x 100mm (5½ x 4 in.). 17 lines with 16 flourished initial alternately blue and gold and 14 illuminated line-fillers on the recto and 14 initials and line-fillers on the verso. This leaf, part of the Litany, follows directly from no 20 (containing the end of the Penitential Psalms and the beginning of the Litany) in C. de Hamel and S. Cooper's list of surviving leaves ('The Hungerford Hours', p.368).
BORDER WITH MONKEYS, on a leaf from a Book of Hours, in Dutch, illuminated by the Monkey Master [Delft?, c.1480s]
A charming leaf with borders illuminated by the colourfully-named 'Monkey Master', an artist active in Delft who takes his name from the monkeys that scamper about amongst other drolleries in his margins. Often a collaborator of the Assumption Master, his style derives from artists such as the Master of Herman Droem and the Master of the Adair Hours. A small coherent group of Books of Hours is attributed to this artist: The Hague, KB, 135 K 40; 74 G 30; 133 H 16; Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, MS 78 B3; Weert, BM 17.
182 x 130mm (7¼ x 5⅛ in.), ruled space: 95 x 66mm (3¾ x 2¾ in.), two music-making monkeys flanking an owl in the lower border and a dragon in the upper border on a leaf from a Book of Hours, the verso with 21 lines of text, a rubric, seven penwork initials, alternately red and blue, and a two-line blue initial with text-height penwork border in pink. The initial opens Compline of the Office of the Virgin in a Book of Hours in the Dutch translation of Geert Grote. Framed.
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Karl Katz (1929-2017)
Asked by The New York Times how he would define Art, Karl replied, ‘If it's not visual and it’s not visceral and it’s not communicative, it’s not a work of art’ -- and responding and communicating about art were the determining features of Karl's entire working life. The title of his autobiography, ‘’The Exhibitionist: Living Museums Loving Museums’ says it all. He was not only instrumental in the foundation of new museums, starting with The Israel Museum, but also introduced new directions for established ones. It was during Karl’s tenure at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as Chairman for Exhibitions and Loans and then Chairman for Special Projects that its ground-breaking program of major exhibitions was firmly established. He masterminded the launch of many blockbuster shows that both raised awareness and visitor numbers of the Met and brought iconic treasures from museums world-wide to the US. His resourceful and determined negotiations to secure such loans sometimes had a colourful impact on his personal life: he secured the Book of Kells for Irish Art under threat of damnation from the Archbishop of Dublin; negotiations with the Greek government for the Art of the Aegean led to Karl's enduring friendship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; and borrowing from the British Museum for Viking Art led to taking tea with Her Majesty the Queen.
Recognising the role that other visual media could play in spreading an understanding of visual art and culture, Karl founded the Met’s Office of Film and Photography, and this role was continued by MUSE Film and Photography, the nonprofit he founded in 1991 where he continued as Executive Director. It is characteristic of his openness to new developments that he and his wife Elizabeth chose an online-only auction as the way to bring their collection to the market.
The manuscript illuminations offered in Script and Illumination are the art works that Karl and Elizabeth were surrounded by: the immediacy and intimacy of these small paintings making them perfect living companions. The breadth of interest shown in Karl’s working life – involvement with museums as disparate as the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora and the P.T. Barnum Museum and, in MUSE’s films, from The Book of Kells to Ai Wei Wei – is also evident in the Katz collection. The paintings date from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries, were made in Asia and the Middle East as well as Europe and come from Christian, Islamic and Hindu cultures. In subject they range from the Lives of the Saints, Loves of the Gods, Arthurian Romance, Portraiture, Science and Natural History. Great names of medieval illumination – for example Niccolo di Giacomo da Bologna and Girolamo dai Libri – figure alongside unidentified artists, the feature that unites the works is the quality or charm of their execution. The collection was put together over several decades and now, through its dispersal by auction, other collectors have the chance to experience the pleasure and satisfaction that these pieces have brought to Karl and Elizabeth.
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