National Geographic : 1940 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Raphael's "Alba Madonna"-Beloved Through the Centuries This masterpiece, costing more than a million dollars, is one of a collection of 21 famous works which Mr. Mellon acquired from the Hermitage, former imperial gallery of the Russian Tsars, in Leningrad. The total cost of the group, purchased in 1930, was between six and seven million dollars (pages 2 and 5 and Plate V). Since their arrival in the United States, the pictures have been stored and will have their public debut with the opening of the National Gallery. Trustees, composed of the Chief Justice of the United States, who serves as chairman; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of the Treasury; the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution-all ex officio members: and five general trustees: David K. E. Bruce, who is the President; F. Lammot Belin; Duncan Phil lips: Joseph E. Widener; and Samuel H. Kress. Ionald D. Shepard is Secretary-Treasurer. David E. Finley is Director of the Gallery; Harry A. McBride, Administrator; and John Walker, Chief Curator. Thus, next winter, armored trucks will pass through the huge automatic service door of the gallery building, delivering the treasures from the two collections. The registrar will check them in on his records. Experts will proceed to hang the paintings in the places already determined by the Di rector and the curators-not with wires, but with toggle bolts extending into the tile walls. Sculpture will be placed in specially designed rooms and niches. Engineers will again test each piece of the elaborate machinery. Eighty guards will don their new uniforms. There will be a formal opening-and Ameri can citizens will begin enjoyment of their Na tional Gallery.