Picturing this exhibition of 8,000 clay statues, I imagined tabletop action figures, as far as the eye could see. Toy “army men” fashioned for grown-up royalty. But what was I thinking – royalty gets the royal treatment, after all – this army, whose purpose was to guard China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, during the […]
November 27, 1922 One day after getting a peek inside King Tut’s tomb by holding a candle through a crevice, Howard Carter enters for the first time.
365 Days of Art: November 4 – King Tut’s Tomb is Discovered, Florence Flood Damages Millions of Artworks
November 4, 1922 Howard Carter discovers King Tut’s tomb. November 4, 1966 The Arno River floods Florence, killing 113 and damaging millions of masterpieces. The scramble to deal with the sheer volume of works, as well as the race against time to avoid further damage by mold, leads to new developments in art conservation.
September 12, 1940 A group of French teenagers chase their dog down a hole and accidentally discover the most awesome cave paintings of all time at Lascaux, France. The prehistoric paintings are at least 15,000 years old, cover the walls and ceiling, and mainly depict animals. The degree of delicacy in these 600+ paintings is
April 22, 2008 Scientists announce they have proved the world’s first-ever oil paintings were made in caves that were discovered behind, and after the destruction of, two giant statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Ironically, the dynamiting of the statues by the Taliban in 2001 revealed the caves and art behind them. Scientists discovered that paintings
March 13, 1858 The Elgin Marbles, sculptures taken from the Acropolis in Athens, and their poor conservation were the subject of a letter, written by the superintendent of the “moving and cleaning the sculptures” at the British Museum: I think it my duty to say that some of the works are much damaged by ignorant
March 3, 2011 Ten years and one day after the Taliban initiated their destruction, UNESCO convened a conference to discuss possible restoration of two 6th century Buddha statues. One result of the conference was a list of 39 recommendations for the site in Bamiyan, Afghanistan where two large niches in the side of the cliff
March 2, 2001 The Buddhas of Bamiyan, two 6th century statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Afghanistan, were dynamited by the Taliban. The total demolition was effected in stages, and took several weeks to complete. I remember the awful anticipation of the clock ticking down on this one. I, and all my friends
February 17, 1923 King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber is opened by archaeologist Howard Carter. The brouhaha of the traveling Tut exhibition in the late 70s (which was revived with a less newsworthy sequel just a couple of years ago) was a big part of my childhood. I desperately, desperately wanted to see it at the Field
February 5, 2013 Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind opened at the British Museum. The exhibition presented artwork (not archaeological artifacts) between 10,000 and 40,000 years old, created during the last Ice Age. The distinction between art and artifacts represented humans’ arrival at complex thought, as illustrated by an embrace of abstraction, symbolism,
In college, I painted quite a few landscapes. We went outside every day, rain or shine, and painted the hills and trees of our rural campus. I got pretty good at it; I even sold a few, but nothing transcendental. After the second semester, my professor told me what I already knew: that they were
In Sedona, it was easy to see the birth of Abstract Expressionism all around us. That sounds strange, even as I write it, because the movement is so closely associated with New York. But many of the painters were actually from, or lived in, the American West, (including Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko),
In Sedona, we went to visit the Palatki ruins, which feature pictographs (images painted on rocks) and a few petroglyphs (images carved on rocks). The area was inhabited by a tribe called the Sinagua (in Spanish, that means “without water”) around 650 AD, although some of the paintings and carvings date from 3000 – 6000
The Bread and Puppet Museum has to be seen to be believed. None of the pictures you’ll see here can possibly do it justice, but I found myself snapping away anyway, to the point where I ran down the batteries in my camera less than halfway through the place. Located in Glover, VT, the Museum
Or, Classicism, Propaganda . . . and Jury Duty I’ve always thought that history could best be taught through art and music. So cheers to the Guggenheim for putting together a great history lesson with Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918-1936. The show blew my mind, and I haven’t been able