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Showing posts from March, 2018

Symposium: The Horse in Ancient Greek Art

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be hosting a symposium in April 2018. It will explore some of the themes emerging from the exhibition, 'The Horse in Ancient Greek Art'.

It would have been interesting for one of the papers to have explored the histories of some of the objects appearing in the show. Items include pots reported to have been handled by individuals such as Edoardo Almagià and Fritz Bürki.

Reported archaeological finds in Essex

I have been working through the data included in the RSA Heritage Index for Essex. The section on 'Museums, Archives, and Artefacts' includes an element 'Archaeological finds reported' derived from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This presents just over 16,000 finds for the different parts of the county. (This is dwarfed by more than 60,000 finds reported for Suffolk.)

These finds contribute to the overall heritage score for each of these administrative districts in Essex (and other parts of the UK).

Conflict antiquities, myth, realities and evidence

The next Heritage Futures seminar will be given by Paul Barford. His title is: Collection-driven exploitation of the Middle Eastern archaeological record: Conflict antiquities, myth, realities and evidence.

This will take place at the University of Suffolk, Waterfront Building in Ipswich, on Wednesday 11 April 2018 at 4.30 pm.

Please reserve a place by following the Eventbrite link from here.

Over the past five years or so, the press has been full of stories about the destruction of the heritage as a result of the ongoing conflict and rise of militant Islamism groups in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya. What we see is an echo of what happened two decades earlier in the aftermath of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the Gulf War and invasion of Iraq, when museums and sites were looted and many antiquities were stolen to feed a voracious and expanding international antiquities market. During the social instability caused by external events, we can observe that whole site…

Surfacing Apulian tomb-group in 1981

I have been reflecting on a group of Apulian pots that are said, by A.D. Trendall, to have been derived from the same tomb. All surfaced on the New York market in 1981 and then passed to the same private collection.

Some initial questions. Who provided the information to Trendall? Was it the New York dealer? If so, who provided the information to the dealer? Or was Trendall aware of the source in, say, Switzerland? If this group does not appear to have been known prior to 1970, will the present proprietors seek to contact the Italian authorities?

Ex Almagià Apulian krater at Fordham University

Among the returns from the Cleveland Museum of Art was a pair of Etruscan silver bracelets that were derived from Edoardo Almagià. Then there was a major return from the Princeton University Art Museum that contained numerous pieces derived from Almagià (discussion here). The Dallas Museum of Art decided to investigate its collections and returned ex Almagià to Italy (discussion here). And other museums have ex Almagià material: Boston Museum of Fine Art, Indiana University Art Museum, Tampa Museum of Art. Chasing Aphrodite has added material in the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Among the items in the Walsh collection at Fordham University is an Apulian volute-krater attributed to the Virginia Exhibition painter (inv. 8.001). The catalogue entry does not appear to provide a statement about the kraters' history. However, the krater is currently on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), and the catalogue entry helpfully states: "Ex. coll. Edouardo [sic.] Almagiá [sic.]; …

Making sense of pottery fragments

This seminar will consider the issue of how pot fragments have been acquired by museums. It will focus on the pots that have been returned to Italy where fragments have been supplied by a range of different donors. Do the patterns apply to other pots that have yet to be investigated? Why were museum curators unaware of the patterns of donation that allowed complete pots to be created? The more disturbing question relates to the possibility that pots were deliberately fragmented in order to allow them to move across international frontiers.

Entry is free but please reserve a place.