An ambitious standard for the Museum’s already-growing collection of European painting was set in 1893, with Mrs. William P. Wilstach's bequest of some 150 paintings and a handsome fund for acquisitions. Today, the department’s holdings span nearly 800 years, with fine examples from the medieval to the early modern periods.In the early half of the 20th century, Philadelphia was home to a number of enthusiastic collectors of Impressionism. The Museum celebrated that enthusiasm with the 1921 purchase of a choice group of Impressionist paintings from the family of Alexander Cassatt (Mary Cassatt's brother). From there, the collections continued to grow under the curatorship of Arthur Edwin Bye. Donations from William L. and George W. Elkins in 1924 brought significant English paintings and distinguished Dutch pictures to the Museum, while John Howard McFadden's gift of forty-three paintings, including Turner's Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons and Constable's Sketch for "A Boat Passing a Lock," were among the first to be shown in the Museum's new building on Fairmount. Henry Clifford followed Bye as curator in 1929, and remained in the role until 1965. During these important years of growth, the Museum acquired two extraordinary works by Cézanne--Mont Sainte Victoire and The Large Bathers. The collection of Philadelphia painter Carroll S. Tyson, one of the greatest champions of the Cézanne acquisition, was bequeathed to the Museum in 1963, featuring masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir, among others. That same year, the Louis E. Stern collection, which included several 19th- and 20th-century French paintings, was given to the Museum after over two years of endeavor by several other major museums to acquire it. Additional bequests--such as those of Lisa Norris Elkins in 1950, Samuel S. and Vera White in 1967, Charlotte Dorrance Wright in 1978, and Henry P. McIlhenny in 1986--have made the Museum’s 19th-century French collections among the most important in the country. The Museum is also home to a strong collection of old master paintings. Like most other large museum holdings of such work in the United States, the Museum's is very much composed of other collections--each donated as a whole and reflecting the taste and values of individual patrons rather than the professional staff. What differentiates Philadelphia, however, is that many of the Museum's major donors were also directly connected with the daily working of the institution, among them Clifford, McIlhenny, and Louis C. Madeira. Relatively few truly major European paintings have come to the Museum through purchase, but the handful that have are of great note, each adding a pivotal moment in the history of art and a memorable masterpiece to the collections--among them Poussin's Birth of Venus and Rubens's Prometheus Bound. Under Joseph J. Rishel, who became curator of the department in the early 1970s, significant works such as Degas's After the Bath, Goltzius's Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Freeze, and Munch's Mermaid entered the collection.