The University of Kansas Libraries
KU Libraries receives extensive collection of art and architecture volumes
The University of Kansas Libraries has received a contribution of more than 2,300 books from former Lawrence residents Edward and Inge Maser (pictured).
The collection, which was given to KU’s Murphy Art and Architecture Library, emphasizes architecture, history, literature and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hungary. It includes hundreds of monographs and catalogues raisonnes on individual artists as well as museum collection catalogs, auction catalogs and exhibition catalogs.
“This was a scholars’ library that reflected a sophisticated, well-educated couple who enjoyed owning, reading and sharing books,” said Susan Craig, art and architecture librarian at KU. “The Masers lived in Lawrence in the 1950s and were close friends of former Chancellor Franklin and Judith Murphy. Mrs. Maser decided she wanted their collection to be in ‘Franklin’s library’ at KU and included those instructions in her will.”
The collection, which will benefit researchers across a number of disciplines at KU, contains guides to museums, churches, historic homes and palaces as well as biographies of rulers and leaders of central and southern Europe. Additionally, there are guidebooks to European countries and individual cities dating before World War I, between the wars and post World War II. Rare items, which were published in the 17th and 18th centuries, will be housed in the Spencer Research Library.
The collection represents the backgrounds and interests of the Masers.
Edward Maser came to KU in 1953 to teach art history and to direct the KU art museum. Beginning in 1958, he served as both the chair of the art history department as well as director of the museum. In 1961, the Masers returned to Chicago where he chaired the art department at the University of Chicago from 1961 to 1964. In 1972, he was named the first director of the David and Alfred Smart Art Gallery. He held that post until 1983 and continued teaching baroque art history until his death in October 1988.
Inge Maser was born in Berlin and came to the United States in 1939. She was a designer and worked in Kansas City for various clothing manufacturers including Nelly Don. She and Edward were married in Lawrence in 1959. She died last March in Chicago.
In addition, the Masers donated several works of art to the Spencer Museum of Art as well as art to the Art Institute of Chicago and to the Smart Gallery at the University of Chicago.
“Their generosity will be remembered by those of us who met them and by the researchers who will have access to their books and their art for years to come,” Craig said.
Contact: Rebecca Smith, email@example.com, 785-864-1761.