Tuesday 15 January 2019

The Met’s antiquated views of antiquities need updating

The new Greek and Roman curator at New York’s Metropolitan Museum should rejuvenate its displays with honest, better stories (Elizabeth Marlowe, ' Elizabeth Marlowe, 'The Met’s antiquated views of antiquities need updating' The Art Newspaper 15th January 2019)
Change must begin with new attitudes of openness and transparency. [...] It is also time to rethink the assumption that classical collections must continue to grow. In recent years, international cultural property laws, new professional standards and shifting public opinion have made the legal and ethical acquisition of Greek and Roman art nearly impossible. And that is a good thing. Rather than spending millions on the splashiest big-ticket item on the market, the Met would better serve the public by dusting off some of the thousands of relatively humble objects in its basements, where around 80% of the collection is kept. Silver drinking cups and precious marble coffins may tell us what life was like for the ancient 1%, but ceramic household items and limestone funerary reliefs better illuminate how ordinary Greeks and Romans lived. [...] Fresh perspectives on how classical art is presented would be equally welcome. In many respects, the Met’s galleries seem designed to affirm outdated notions of the classical world as the wellspring of Western ideals of Truth and Beauty. 
In other words, the dealers' representation of portable antiquities as 'ancient art' should be challenged. The trashing of archaeological evidence to produce a commodity should not be dressed-up in the garments of serving a 'higher' virtue ('the love of art').

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.