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James R. Tanis Collection of Religious Portraits

The James R. Tanis Collection of Religious Portraits began in 1986 with a large donation of over 1000 religious portrait prints, generously given to the La Salle University Art Museum by James R. Tanis (1928-2015). He continued to add to the collection in subsequent years with additional gifts.

Dr. Tanis was a minister, a scholar, and a professor and Director of Libraries at Bryn Mawr College. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University; a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and a doctor of theology degree in 1967 from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He served 3 years as a Presbyterian minister.

He served as the curator of rare books and manuscripts at Union Theological Seminary. At the same time, he progressed from librarian and lecturer at Harvard Divinity School to the same roles at Yale University in the mid-1960s, and finally to Bryn Mawr in 1969. There he was a professor of philosophy and religion, and Director of Libraries until his retirement in 1997.

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