Gates of Paradise Go to Missouri Museum
This week a bronze copy of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” arrived for installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. A chance find by one of the museum’s trustees several years ago, the addition of the replica panels will, according to museum personnel, add a valuable Renaissance compliment to the museum.
Ghiberti’s famed “Gates” were originally designed for the Baptistry of Florence’s Santa Maria del Fiore in the fifteenth century and have been a source of artistic inspiration since. When the original panels were replicated by the Marinelli Foundry in 1990 to allow for their preservation indoors, the foundry simultaneously created a second replica for a Japanese collector. This sister copy toured east Asia for exhibitions for several years, but otherwise had been in storage, which is where Nelson-Atkins trustee, Paul DeBruce, and his spouse discovered them in 2015.
Soon after their fantastic find, they facilitated the purchase of these bronze panels, the installation of which in the Missouri museum’s entry hall began on 19 July. They will be on view to the public by Fall 2017.
Victoria Stapley-Brown, “Florence’s famous Gates of Paradise find new home in Kansas City” (The Art Newspaper, 19 July 2017).
Andrew Vaupel, “A rainy day for Nelson-Atkins benefactor DeBruce opens ‘Gates of Paradise’ for KC” (Kansas City Business Journal, 20 July 2017).
Eastern Door of the Florence Baptistry, 1425-52. Image courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art.
The main facade of the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri.