Showing posts with label british museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label british museum. Show all posts

April 12, 2015

An Updated Analysis of What Remains of Nimrud's NorthWest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II

Photo by Mustafa Al Najjar
As news of the Nimrud explosion video produced by Daash, ISIL, Deash, ISIS, Daaesh, Islamic State gets press time.  Rearchers and journalists are beginning to comment on the missing chunks and slices of the Assyrian reliefs seen from the video's imagery of the North-West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II.  Social Media has been abuzz with speculation that these pieces may have been removed in advance of the explosion, for sale on the illicit antiquities market.   While this might partially prove to be  true, it is premature to speculate on this before cross referencing and doing so just adds to the shock and horror propaganda the militants want to demonstrate.

Sam Hardy has excellent Day One analysis of the attack on Nimrud as does Paul Barford who asks when this video was made.

A new PDF report analyzing relief and object damage was published by Simone Mühlon on April 15, 2015 and can be downloaded here

Assyrian reliefs, stone slaps and epigraphic remains in the form of cuneiform texts can also be found in private and museum collections throughout the world.  ARCA has listed a fairly comprehensive listing of the 76 known public collections and 6 private collections which contain material culture from this archaeological site.

Abegg Foundation, Bern
Amherst College, Amherst
Archäologisches Institut und Archäologische Sammlung der Universität Zürich, Zurich
Arkeoloji Müzeleri, Istanbul
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Art Museum, Princeton University
Arts & Culture Centre, Memorial University
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Australian Institute of Archaeology
Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbay, India (formerly Victoria and Albert Museum)
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
The British Museum, London
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn,
Burrell Collection. Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbay, India (formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India)
Christ Church College, Oxford
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Fleming Museum, University of Vermont
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Glencairn Museum, Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn
Hood Museum, Dartmouth College
Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo
Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Michigan
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles
Louvre Museum, Paris
Magdalen College, Oxford
Manchester University, Museum, Manchester
Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
M.H. De Young Museum, San Francisco
Miho Museum, Kyoto
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis
Mosul Museum, Mosul, Iraq (Condition unknown)
Middlebury College, Middlebury
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley
Museo Civico di Archeologia Ligure, Genoa
Museo Barracco, Rome
Museo Gregoriano Egizio, Rome
Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels
Musei Vaticani, Rome
Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol
Museum Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg
Museum of Art, Cleveland
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Narodowe w Warszawie, Warsaw
National Car Museum of Iran, Tehran, Iran
National Museum of Iraq, Baghdad (Condition unknown)
Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, Toronto
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
Skulpturensammlung, Dresden
Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, Munich
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Swedish National Museum, Stockholm
Tyndale House, Cambridge
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Virginia Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary, Alexandria
Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown
Weingreen Museum of Biblical Antiquities, Trinity College
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester
Yale University, New Haven

Private Collections:
Anonymous (3)
Fred Elghanayan, New York,
Collection Merrin, New York
Collection Samuel Josefowitz, Lausanne

A joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Oxford, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin has completed a comprehensive list of the known collection items with corresponding drawings to the Assyrian reliefs where information has been available.  This online reference may be useful in determining more details of what was gone before vs. what might have been cut away for illicit sales prior to the site's detonation.

Another excellent research project for review materials is the  "Materialities of Assyrian Knowledge Production: Object Biographies of Inscribed Artefacts from Nimrud for Museums and Mobiles".   Funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/K003089/1) it was based at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), University of Cambridge, UCL, the British Museum's Department of the Middle East, and the Babylonian Section of Penn Museum

In final comment, this might be an opportune time to underscore that the site does live on, primarily in the hearts and souls of the people of Iraq, but also tangibly, albeit widely dispersed. 

By Lynda Albertson

October 9, 2014

Parthenon Galleries, British Museum: A selection of friezes and sculptures from the Temple to Athena

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin,
 ARCA Blog Editor

London, October 8 - I had a transcendental experience with art yesterday. I spent more than 2 1/2 hours looking at friezes and sculptures from the Temple of Athena -- those pieces that remain after more than 2,400 years, that once adorned the Parthenon (447 and 432 BC) in Greece. It was my first visit to the British Museum, the first time I'd seen the "Elgin Marbles" and the experience was powerful. I visited the three Greek temples of Paestum in 2009 and felt awed by their grandeur so my first reaction was that I would have liked to have seen these pieces as they were installed in Athens until severely damaged (by a Venetian commander) in the 17th century.  My second reaction was as a feminist -- for the profound loss for two sculptures crucial to worshipping the goddess of war and wisdom (as described in the British Museum's excellent audio guide) -- the sculpture of Athena's birth from the head of Zeus and the "colossal statue" of Athena Parthenos constructed in gold and ivory by Phidias, the most famous sculptor of all antiquity. I would have liked my 14-year-old daughter and her best friend to have seen this now lost statue of Athena by Phidias -- for them to witness the power and beauty of a woman as portrayed even in ancient times.

The British Museum provides information about the controversy about the Parthenon sculptures or the "Elgin Marbles" on its website here. I'll just share with you photos of some of the pieces in the exhibit which humbled me with their beauty and perseverance.

Even the back side of these attached sculptures were finished.

These sculptures were reacting to the birth of Athena
from the head of Zeus which would have been to the right.

Each reaction is carefully shown in the position of body.

My favorite -- Aphrodite's reaction to the birth of Athena.

British Museum, South Metope XXVII: "This is composition-
ally one of the most impressive metopes. A centaur pressing
a wound in his back tries to escape, while the Lapith restrains
him and prepares to deliver a final blow. The Lapith's cloak
fans out to provide a dramatic backdrop."

British Museum, South Metope IV: "The heads of these
figures were taken by Capt. Hartmann, a member
of the Venetian army that occupied Athens in 1688.
 They are now in Copenhagen." 

British Museum, South Metope V: "The centaur's head is in

At the end of my visit I noticed two signs of gratitude to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman for their financial support in 1998 for the Parthenon Galleries. Mr. Fleischman, an art dealer, also donated a large portion of his antiquities collection (collected over 40 years) to the J. Paul Getty Villa in Malibu (see his obituary in The New York Times). The plaques read:
The trustees record their thanks to Lawrence A. Fleischman for a generous grant to renew this gallery in 1998. 
The trustees record their thanks to Barbara G. Fleischman for a generous grant to this gallery in 1998.

Sign thanking L. Fleischman above door.

Sign thanking B. Fleischman above another door.

September 26, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - ,, 1 comment

Review of theater screening of "Pompeii from the British Museum": expert guides provide insight to exhibit

by Eleanor Edwards, Special Contributor

Last night, September 25, theaters all around the United States screened "Pompeii from the British Museum", an 'exclusive private view of a major exhibition'. The show was excellent and in many ways better than the “in person” experience.

This special screening did not include the shoulder to shoulder crowd experience of visiting the British Museum in person. Instead the audience was shown around the empty exhibit space by leading experts in various fields related to the study of the Roman Empire.

The exhibit emphasizes the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The objects exhibited are meant to evoke an appreciation of both the ordinary working people and the more privileged. What did these people think about, how did they get ready for the day, what did they eat, how did they pass their leisure hours, how did they live in their houses? The exhibit itself is laid out like a typical home of a more privileged Pompeiian.

The introduction to the exhibit was made by Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, who pointed out the interesting motif of the dog that runs throughout the exhibit and serves as a common reference between the viewer and the residents of this ill-fated household.

Mary Beard, Classicist from Cambridge, took us around the the cubiculum (bedroom) and discussed the more intimate thoughts, dreams and desires of the residents. This provided a brief look into the possible ways of looking at particular objects of art displayed in the home (much made of the propensity for “willy waving” among the men of the time). But what Professor Beard brought to this experience was her unbridled enthusiasm and excitement for the subject. It was great fun to look at the exhibit with her.

At the British Museum in August, I found it was almost impossible to see and take in the relevance of each object so one tact was to choose a few favorites to swoop in on when there was a break in the crowd. For me those were the kitchen items. This behind the scenes presentation certainly added to my previous enjoyment of those objects when taken around by the Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli. We could really appreciate the beauty of everyday objects like a colander and the ferocity of the dormouse, a favorite delicacy.

One area that I completely missed was the display of items found in the drains of Herculaneum. Being show these items by the resident drains expert, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, brought real immediacy to what had been an overlooked display. He also brought up the controversial question regarding the continued excavation of the site versus the view that, for now, the focus should be the conservation of what has been already uncovered.

In 90 minutes, through both reenactments and expert analysis, Pompeii from the British Museum provided an engaging look at this exhibit. While not every item is examined, and a few favorites are notably missing, this event is well worth attending whether of not you have been to the British Museum exhibit.

The British Museum also has an application for iPhones and iPads, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Here's a link to the museum's exhibit which closes on September 29.

Fathom Events will show "Vermeer and Music" at theaters on October 10, 2013.

September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - ,,, No comments

Fathom Events Presents "Pompeii from the British Museum" in US Theaters Tonight Only

"Pompeii from the British Museum" will be screened in dozens of theaters throughout the United States tonight. Here's a link to Fathom Events to purchase tickets. The British Museum produced this film about their exhibit, "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum" (closing September 29). Here's a link to the worldwide listings of this event.

December 2, 2011

Museo Archeologico di Amelia: Artifacts from Amelia Spread to Other Collections in 19th century

Mars attacking (Rome, National Etruscan
 Museum of Villa Giulia)
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

I attended ARCA's Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime Studies in 2009, fell in love with our host town, Amelia, and have returned each subsequent summer for ARCA's International Art Crime Conference. However, I have never spent enough time in the archaeological museum to appreciate or learn about the town's history. Last July I abandoned my usual table on the patio of Bar Leonardi and not only dawdled for a few hours in the museum, but photographed many objects and the associated information that had kindly been translated into English. Then I uploaded the photographs into my computer and forgot about them until two weeks ago. In support of the museum's work, I will be offering a series of blog posts on sections of the antiquity section and later the art gallery.

Amelia's collection of cultural property displayed in the Museo Archeologico di Amelia (Archaeological Museum of Amelia) began with an excavation of a Roman theatre along Via di S. Elisabetta in 1820.

A "significant number of Amelia artifacts (bronze and lead votive objects)" according to the museum were "put on the antiquarian market and ended up in Italian and foreign museums and collections."

Statuette of Demeter (London, British Museum)
A partial list from the museum includes the following:
A group of small votive bronze objects from the Archaic period is preserved at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome (before it was at the Museum Kircherianum). 
A bronze statuette depicting Demeter on a chariot is from the collection at the British Museum in London. 
The 19th century excavations conducted in Pantanelli unearthed a series of votive figurines cut from lead foil. They were purchased by Baron E. de Meesert de Ravestein prior to 1864 for his collection and are now in Brussels. 
A bronze laminetta engraved in epichoric Umbrian characters on both sides (opistographic), found near Santa Maria in Canale, is currently preserved at the National Museum in Naples. The chain of events that ultimately brought the tablet to Naples began in 1788, when it came into the hands of the Benedictine abbott G. Di Costanzo, who purchased it from the Amelia antiquarian G. Venturelli. Di Costanzo then gave it to Cardinal Stefano Borgia, whose heirs sold it to the Bourbon Museum in Naples in 1817. 
An Imperial marble altar and two inscriptions are at the Vatican Museum. 
The altar, dedicated to the goddess Fortuna by Curiatus Cosanus, is now in Florence. In the 16th century, it was documented in the Church of Santa Firmina. It was then taken to Spoleto and is now part of the Bardini Collection.