Monday 7 December 2020

Menil Collection: Never Mind the Context, Admire our Taste

 Object Biographies: Collaborative Approaches to Ancient Mediterranean Art
Edited by John North Hopkins, Sarah Kielt Costello, and Paul R. Davis

A revealing look at ancient art in the Menil Collection that addresses the problem of objects lacking archaeological context
This innovative presentation of ancient objects in the Menil Collection offers a new model for understanding works from antiquity that lack archaeological context. Editors John North Hopkins, Sarah Kielt Costello, and Paul R. Davis with 11 additional authors employ a creative mixture of iconography, technical studies, and known provenance to gain insight into both the meaning of the objects themselves and what they can teach us more broadly about archaeology, art history, and collecting practices. As they take on complex issues of cultural heritage, legality, and taste, these essays bring to life works that are often consigned to either the imperial past or conceptual limbo and introduce a fresh framework through which to engage with the multilayered history that these objects represent. ISBN: 9780300250879 Publication Date: February 9, 2021
You get that "art lacking in archaeological context". So basically an object-centred treatment of archaeological objects as "art" to excuse the museum created in Houston out of the private collection formed from the 1940s to the 1990s by John and Dominique de Menil acquiring items looted from archaeological sites? Eh?

John North Hopkins is an assistant professor of art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Sarah Kielt Costello is an associate professor of art history at the University of Houston–Clear Lake. Paul R. Davis is curator of collections at the Menil Collection.

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