Two Nights in Greece

On June 26 and 27, I will offer a two-session course on the themes raised by our current exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum.

Bronze statuette of Zeus Roman period, first–second century AD, said to be from Hungary  9 5/16 x 4 5/16 x 4 3/4 in.  GR 1865,0103.36 (Bronze 909) © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Bronze statuette of Zeus
Roman period, first–second century AD, said to be from Hungary,
© The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Objects from Greek and Roman antiquity can be challenging to decipher. What the classical world took for granted is no longer part of our language, either spoken or visual. The polytheistic religious framework that defined daily existence seems alien to a modern Western observer, for whom the myths of ancient Greece are complex, overlapping, and in many cases hard to understand.

Over the course of two evenings, I hope to make these artworks of some two millennia ago feel as accessible as possible to a modern viewer, and to share observations from a lifetime of handling and studying classical antiquities.

Black-figure neck amphora, Greek, 520–510 BC, from Vulci, Italy, GR 1836,0224.106 (Vase B224), © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

Black-figure neck amphora, Greek, 520–510 BC, from Vulci, Italy, © The Trustees of the British Museum (2013). All rights reserved.

We’ll tackle the objects in the exhibition by medium, to give insight into the creative choices made by artisans working in gold, silver, bronze, marble, and terracotta, and make our way through the stylistic transitions of the Geometric through the Hellenistic periods.

By the end of these two nights, I hope to have given you what you need to take in not only the antiquities in the DMA’s galleries but also any others you may encounter in the future.

DMAReward_Small

Visit the DMA’s website for additional information on An Illustrated Course: The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece and to register for the two-night event. DMA Friends have the opportunity to attend the course for free; earn 6,500 points and redeem that credit for the Illustrated Course reward.

Maxwell L. Anderson is The Eugene McDermott Director at the DMA.


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