Sunday, 9 September 2012

Crosby Garrett Helmet Part of Royal Academy 'Blockbuster' Exhibition

The Royal Academy Of Arts is holding an exhibition called "Bronze" which runs from 15 September to 9 December. There is a promotional film with dramatic musical score, without which it seems exhibitors think art cannot speak for itself, and an exhibition blurb which says:  
This exhibition brings together outstanding works from the earliest times to the present in a thematic arrangement that is fresh and unique. With works spanning 5,000 years, no such cross-cultural exhibition on this scale has ever been attempted. The exhibition features over 150 of the finest bronzes from Asia, Africa and Europe and includes important discoveries as well as archaeological excavations. Many of the pieces have never been seen in the UK. Arranged thematically, Bronze brings together outstanding works from antiquity to the present. Different sections focus on the Human Figure, Animals, Groups, Objects, Reliefs, Gods, Heads and Busts.
The list of the exhibition's 'supporters' is given here. The slide show here indicates what to expect.The average visitor is expected to have got through the whole lot in an hour (that's 24 seconds an object). There are themed goodies in the gift shop.

Among the 'works' that are on show is the Crosby Garrett helmet which has not been seen in public since the Christie's auction in 2010. It is shown alongside sculptures by Rodin, Picasso, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor. It is not clear whether any of these other works come from the same collection as the helmet, or how the exhibition organizer David Ekserdjian professor of art history at Leicester University contacted the secretive owner and persuaded them to lend the work.
Mr Ekserdjian added: "It's stunning. It's one of the stars of the show, one of the phenomenal pieces and seeing it with all the other pieces just confirms its greatness."
That as may be, the helmet is not even mentioned in the  review of Jonathan Jones in the Guardian. I'd be grateful for some information from anyone going how the gap-filling is holding up, and any photos they can provide. Christie's is refusing to allow the use of theirs.

It looks like the loan had not been finalised when the CWA article was written.

Some references:

Current World Archaeology, 'Spilling the beans on BRONZE … coming soon to the Royal Academy', CWA August 10, 2012.

Michael Prodger, 'Bronze beauties: sculpture at the Royal Academy', Guardian, Friday 7 September 2012.

Anon, 'Crosby Garrett Helmet to be part of Royal Academy exhibition', BBC News 9 September 2012

Jonathan Jones, 'Bronze, Royal Academy, London - Review' Guardian Sunday 9 September 2012

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