Monday, 10 October 2022

The Keros Haul and the Leonard Stern Collection

Figures identified with the Keros Haul in the Stern Collection

Back in 2014 LM noted 5 Cycladic figures (or fragments of figures) that were identified as coming from the Keros Haul. They can be identified in P. Sotirakopoulou, The "Keros Hoard": myth or reality? Searching for the lost pieces of a puzzle (Athens: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, 2005) as:
  • Keros 170: Stern 138. Attributed to the Karlsruhe/Woodner Sculptor.
  • Keros 180: Stern 177. Attributed to the Copenhagen Sculptor.
  • Keros 181: Stern 157. Attributed to the Copenhagen Sculptor.
  • Keros 223: Stern 181. Getz-Gentle, PS pl. 30.
  • Keros 242: Stern 111. Attributed to the Ashmolean Sculptor.
Incidentally one of the Harmon pieces is specifically mentioned in the review article (D.W.J. Gill, AJA 111 [2007] 163-65).

These figures form part of the Leonard Stern collection (linked to Harmon Fine Art) that is to be passed into the Hellenic Ancient Culture Institute (HACI) based in Delaware, and then placed on loan with the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, followed by New York's Metropolitan Museum Art. The collection has been the subject of discussion in Greece ("Debate: Cycladic idol deal signals new chapter in heritage management", September 13, 2022). The article reports:
The Met first reached out to the Greek Ministry of Culture in June 2020, informing it that Stern had expressed an interest in showing and donated his collection to the American museum and was asking whether the Greek state was aware of its existence.
The answer is, of course, yes, the Stern collection was known. The collection featured in Cycladic Masterpieces (Harmon Fine Arts, 2004), and a selection of Stern's Cycladic figures had been displayed in the exhibition 'Masterpieces of Cycladic Art' at the Merrin Gallery. Further discussion from strongly-held positions appears in the article.

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