DIA Bulletin Volume 95

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The award-winning journal, in print since 1919, is devoted to new research on the works of art in the museum’s permanent collection.

This issue features four articles in which the authors examine objects from the DIA collection in the light of new scholarship, technical analysis, and archival research. Each article reclaims a place in art history for makers, subjects, or contexts that had been marginalized or obscured in one way or another.

The opening article, “Deconstructing an Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portrait,” is a collaboration between three members of the DIA’s Conservation Department—Christina Bisulca, Ellen Hanspach-Bernal, and Aaron Steele—and Caroline Roberts, of the Department of Conservation, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They examine a portrait given to the DIA in 1925 and exhibited in the Egyptian galleries almost continuously ever since. 

In the second article, Matthias Weniger introduces a 2020 acquisition, a vivid, polychromed wood sculpture representing Saint Michael Vanquishing the Devil created in southern Germany around 1490–1500. Commissioned for the chapel of Saint Michael in Harburg Castle, in present-day Bavaria, the statue remained on site for more than five hundred years. 

All too often, the development of modernist art in the early twentieth century has been viewed as centered in western Europe. In her article on the 1906 painting Pentecost Holiday Fair near Kraków, Dorota Chudzicka extends this narrative farther east, situating the painting and its creator, the Polish artist Witold Wojtkiewicz (1879–1909), in this history. 

The issue closes with an article by Cortney Anderson Kramer on the American artist Stella Waitzkin (1920–2003) and her 1985 polyester resin assemblage Untitled (Red Books). Kramer discusses the sculpture as one of numerous elements of a sprawling work, Details of a Lost Library, which the artist constructed over many years in her New York City apartment.