The World Between Two Empires shows art and artifacts made in the Middle East between about 100 BCE and 250 CE. It recently opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but I got to see it during preview days. I really enjoyed seeing beauty and culture that I didn't know much about before.
Why do people talk about "walking like an Egyptian"? This strange phenomenon, which became a cult hit at one point, involves an unnatural posture where your shoulders face the side while everything else faces the front. When people try it, they usually also add strange head and arm movements. There's even a song about it.… Continue reading Don’t Walk Like an Egyptian, Because They Didn’t, Either! (a fun fact)
For those of you new to the art-viewing, museum-going experience, do you feel unsure what to see first? If so, I can make a few suggestions. I've come up with three areas that I think are particularly accessible and enjoyable to new viewers. You'll find them in most major museums, and they also happen to be among my favorites.
Over Christmas break, I saw Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place at the Bard College Graduate Center Gallery in Manhattan. The show's almost over, so instead of writing a review, I thought I would tell you what votives are and what I learned about them in the show.
In the ancient city of Knossos, on the Aegean island of Crete, archaeologists found lots of beautiful frescos while excavating. Lots of them depicted scenes of everyday, real and imagined animals, and gorgeous foliage, but one of them depicted something far stranger - a trio of people vaulting over a bull.
One type of art I've always loved is ancient Cycladic figurines. These little marble figures have been found on the Aegean islands of the Cyclades and were created in ancient times. They depict human figures and can be found in most major museums.
We're used to thinking of ancient Greek sculptures as plain white. We look at them and clearly see that they're made of white marble with no other colors whatsoever. But, the truth is exactly the opposite. Learn about how the ancient Greeks and Romans painted their statuary and see what this might have originally looked like.
In his Natural History, The ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder tells a memorable tale about the world's first painter.
Roman historian Pliny the Elder tells a humorous story about two artists trying to outdo each other with their illusionistic paintings.
Conversation Between Two Hippos pairs the Met's famous mascot, William, with a 1936 adaptation by Carl Walters. As a big William fan, I was so excited to see the two hippos displayed together in the Metropolitan's ancient Egyptian wing.