Skip to main content

Antiquities and museums: Looking to the future


I noticed this panel at the 98th College Art Association (CAA) in Chicago:
Looking to the Future: Antiquities and the Art Museum
Saturday, February 13
Chair: Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University and Johns Hopkins University
  • Is the Market in Antiquities Evolving toward Greater Care? Changing Museum Standards and Their Legal Background: Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul Unviersity
  • "Due Diligence": Rationalizing Acquisition in the "Universal Museum": Irene Winter, Harvard University
  • The Shape of Things to Come: Developing Collections of Antiquities and Archaeological Materials in the Twenty-First Century: Timothy Rub, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • The Future for Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum: Karol Wight, J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Acropolis in Motion: Reflections on the New Acropolis Museum in Athens and Its Predecessors: Christina Papadimitriou, Princeton University
Tom Mullaney has commented on Rub's presentation.
He distanced himself from Cuno’s defense of the universal museum as the best repository (a minority view among museum directors) but also tiptoed away from archeologists’ claim that antiquities have little value independent of their archeological context, meaning resting in the ground at their original location.
It would have been interesting for Rub to have commented in more detail about how the Cleveland Museum of Art managed to acquire the antiquities that were returned to Italy while on his watch (see my earlier comments). Equally significant would have been Winter on Harvard's acquisition of the pot fragments.


Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Mithras relief from Tor Cervara

A fragmentary relief of Mithras was discovered in 1964 at Tor Cervara on the outskirts of Rome. It was acquired by the Museo Nazionale Romano.

A further fragment of the relief was acquired by the Badisches Landesmueum in Kalrsruhe in 1976. The source was an unstated Swiss dealer. This fragment has been reunited with the rest of the relief [press release].

Today a further fragment of the relief was reunited with the other pieces. This had been recovered during a raid in Sardinia.

The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Reference
Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics an…