Samuel H. Kress Collection

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The Samuel H. Kress Collection is a collection of European paintings and sculptures donated by the Kress Foundation to the Birmingham Museum of Art beginning in 1952.

Samuel Kress was the founder of the S. H. Kress & Company chain of five-and-ten-cent stores, located predominantly in Southern cities. In the 1930s Kress began making plans to donate his collection of European art to various public museums. His brother, Rush Kress, oversaw the execution of those plans on behalf of Samuel's foundation between 1947 and 1961.

Birmingham first viewed works from Kress' collection when a group of fifty paintings toured eight cities where Kress stores were located in 1933. The fourth floor gallery of the Birmingham Public Library held the exhibition which remained on view from January 12 to February 1 of that year. Later the tour was extended to sixteen more cities.

In April 1952 the foundation loaned 29 paintings, selected by Rush Kress in collaboration with museum director Richard Howard. These predominantly Italian Renaissance works formed the basis of the newly-opened museum's European collection. After the completion of the Museum's Oscar Wells Memorial Building in 1959 the previously-loaned pieces were formally donated, along with ten more paintings and a sculpture. Other pieces from the Kress Foundation were added up to 1976. European works from the same period acquired by other means have also been added to the Kress collection. Today the Kress Collection includes those original bequests as well as additional paintings and sculptures, furnishings, textiles and stained glass.

Notable works

  • Francesco di Andrea Anguilla (c. 1434) "Bishop Saint and Saint Francis of Assisi" and "Saints Lucy and Agnes", tempera on panels (gift of the Birmingham Public Library in 1998)
  • Jacopo d'Arcangelo del Sellaio (c. 1485) "Christ with Instruments of the Passion." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Mariotto di Nardi (late 14th - early 15th c.) "Madonna and Christ Child with Angels and Saints Mary Magdalene, Francis, Dorothy and Anthony Abbot." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Studio of Domenico Ghirlandaio (c. 1485-1500) "Madonna and Christ Child with Infant Saint John the Baptist and Three Angels." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Tommaso del Mazza (c. 1380-85) "Madonna and Child with Angels and Saints Catherine, Peter, James, Lucy, Anthony Abbot and Paul." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Apollonio di Giovanni (c. 1460-65) "Journey of the Queen of Sheba." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Benvenuto Tisi, called Il Garofalo (c. 1520-25) "Baptism of Christ." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto (c. 1590s) "Allegory of Vigilance". oil on canvas. (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Ansano di Pietro di Mencio, called Sano di Pietro (c. 1470) "Saint Augustine" and "Saint Benedict". tempera on panels (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown (c. 1400-50) "Madonna and Christ Child Enthroned with Angels." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown Flemish artist (after 1525) "Battle of Pavia". oil on canvas. (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Michele Ciampanti (c. 1500) "Enthroned Madonna and Christ Child with Angels, Saints Paula and Agatha." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Jusepe de Ribera, called Lo Spagnoletto (c. 1630) "Saint Bartholomew". oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Francesco Zuccarelli (c. 1762) "Idyllic River Landscape with Figures". oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto (late 1720s) "View of the Grand Canal." oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Francesco Botticini (c. 1470) "Madonna Adoring the Christ Child." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (c. 1385-90) "Execution of the Four Crowned Martyrs" tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • School of Guido Reni (c. 1620) "Judith." oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Paris Bordon (c. 1545-55) "Perseus Armed by Mercury and Minerva". oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown German artist (c. 1500) "Saint George and the Dragon." painted and gilded wood sculpture (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown Italian artist (c. 1400) "Saint Peter." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Leandro dal Ponte, called Leandro Bassano (c. 1595-1605) "Last Judgment" oil on copper (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Allegretto Nuzi (c. 1365) "Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Mary Magdalene." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown Italian artist (late 13th c.) "Madonna and Christ Child with Two Saints." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Bernardino Zenale (c. 1510-12) "Saint Peter the Apostle" oil on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Alessandro Magnasco, called Il Lissandrino (c. 1713-14) "Landscape with Figures." oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Francesco di Cristofano Giudicis, called Franciabiagio (c. 1523) "Madonna and Christ Child." oil on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi, called Lo Scheggia (mid-15th c.) "Saint Bernardino of Siena Preaching." and "Saint Anthony Abbot Tempted by Gold". tempera on panels (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Agnolo Domenico del Mazziere (c. 1490s) "Madonna and Christ Child." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Unknown Italian artist (c. 1530) "Man Holding Gloves." oil on canvas (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Goodhart-Ducciesque Master (c. 1310-20) "Madonna and Christ Child with a Bishop Saint, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Michael and an Unidentified Saint". tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, called Pietro Perugino (c. 1512-23) "Saint Bartholomew." tempera on panel (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Francesco Pesellino and studio (c. 1450) "Seven Virtues" and "Seven Liberal Arts." tempera on panels (Kress gift, 1961)
  • Lorenzo Veneziano (c. 1370) "Madonna and Christ Child." (Kress gift, 1961)

External links