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The museum's significant Medieval and Renaissance holdings have been described as the "best university medieval collection in America" (Charles Little, Metropolitan Museum of Art) and "one of the six best medieval collections overall in America" (Neil Stratford, Keeper Emeritus of Medieval and Later Antiquities, British Museum). Duke University's original Museum of Art was founded with the acquisition of medieval and Renaissance period works from the estate of Ernest Brummer in 1966. Expanded since then, the collection now numbers nearly 90 works from across Europe, ranging in date from the ninth through the fifteenth centuries, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods. It includes sculptures in stone, bronze, wood, and ivory, significant architectural fragments, stained glass, leather, textiles, and illuminated manuscript pages and a full illuminated book of hours. Visitors are able to explore the Book of Hours online.

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University owns more than 10,000 works of art. As part of its mission, the Nasher Museum created this online database to make its collections accessible to a wide audience. This is an ongoing project, so please check back periodically to browse new entries. Some data may change as a result of ongoing research.