The collection of European decorative arts began to take shape with purchases and gifts from the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, followed by gifts of ceramics, glass, enamels, and furniture from Mrs. Bloomfield Moore in 1882.The defining moment for the character and display of the Museum’s European decorative arts, however, occurred in 1927, when director Fiske Kimball conceived of the second floor of what is now the main building as a "walk through time." In this plan, a succession of dramatic galleries--with architectural elements including entire period rooms--was designed to embrace paintings, sculpture, and the applied arts in Europe from about 1100 to 1800. The goal was to both show the unity of the arts at certain historic moments and stimulate the imagination of visitors. The collections grew throughout the early decades of the 20th century, with major gifts including the Edmond Foulc Collection of ltalian and French Renaissance objects acquired in 1930; a superb group of French decorative arts from the 18th century from the 1939 bequest of Eleanore Elkins Rice; the George Grey Barnard Collection of medieval art purchased in 1945; and the Barberini Constantine tapestries given by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and first displayed around the balcony of the Museum’s Great Stair Hall in 1964. Beginning in the late 1960s, the department was divided into two sub-departments. David DuBon was appointed Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Decorative Arts, while Calvin S. Hathaway served as Curator of Decorative Arts after 1700--a category that included both European and American objects. In 1973, Hathaway became Curator Emeritus and American decorative arts became part of the newly established American art department. In the late 1970s, the department was enhanced with two extraordinary gifts. The first, the 1977 bequest of Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch, brought to the Museum one of the finest collections of arms and armor in this hemisphere. With swords, shields, firearms, crossbows, and full suits of armor, this gift established the Museum’s armory, which had been built in the 1960s with funds specially appropriated by the City. The second gift came in 1979--a stunning group of Dutch tiles given by Mrs. Francis P. Garvan that made the Museum's collection of such material among the largest and most comprehensive in the country. Many of these treasures, most of which date from the 17th century, are displayed in public spaces where visitors can enjoy seeing them as they make their way through the Museum. The Museum's two categories of European decorative arts (pre- and post-1700) were reunited at the end of 1989, when Dean Walker joined the Museum staff as the Henry P. McIlhenny Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture. Walker's 2005 death left his official curatorial position open, although today four offices--Arms and Armor, Dutch Tiles, and European Decorative Arts both before and after 1700--operate under the general division of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture.