Saint Michael and a Donor
Bashford Dean (1867–1928), founding curator of the Department of Arms and Armor, frequently acquired works of art, which he called documents, if they included interesting depictions of armor and weapons, particularly rare or early types. Stephen V. Grancsay (1897–1980), Dean’s successor, followed the same practice, adding paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and stained glass to the collection. This stained glass panel features Saint Michael in armor and was on display in the galleries of the Department of Arms and Armor for many years. Granscay explained the rationale for doing this, in reference to medieval armor, in an article published in 1928: "Contemporary representations often show more detail than extant armor, which has been injured by rust and the loss of elements. It is because works of art supplement armor by showing how it was worn with all its trappings that they much be exhibited together."
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