Monday, 8 August 2016

Cycladic Harpist in New York

Harp or car door?
The Metropolitan Museum is showing off one of its trophy objects:
60 min.60 minut temu
This work is one of the earliest of the small number of known representations of musicians.
Sadly, this whole class of object (there are about a dozen of them in various collections) has nothing at all to add to our knowledge either of the past, or the development of 'art' as all but two are ungrounded (in Marlowe's terminology) and the two that have some sort of provenance sound pretty dubious too. This is where all the arguments about objects being informative in their own right without a context fall flat on their faces. The no-questions-asked market not only destroys history, but distorts it.

See Lawergren, B. (2000), “A 'Cycladic' harpist in the Metropolitan Museum of Art”, Source 20/ 1: 3–9.

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