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May 22, 1955 - Image 20

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1955-05-22

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Page Fourteen

T HE MI C HIGA N DA IL Y

'und~n M~n 22 1955 4

PoeForyenHMay I, DAL

Ancient Art in America
Greek and Roman Masterpieces
CORNELIUS C. VERMEULE
Assistant Professor did not have such an early start Michigan has long been outstand-
Department of Fine Arts in forming collections of ancient ing in these activities.
art as the Western European coun- Visitors to the Francis W. Kel-
rHE GREAT PUBLIC collections tries. Our soil naturally does not sey Museum of Archaeology, the
of ancient art are usually yield remains of these ancient building just to the right of the
thought of in terms of the major civilizations. We do not discover Administration Building on State
museums of England, France, Ger- such things as the Roman third Street, will see exhibited impor-
many, Italy, and Greece. The Ve- century A.D. Temple of the mili- tant collections illustrating the
nus de Milo and the Victory of tary god Mithra, which recently daily life of Egypt, when that
Samothrace are well known as or- caused a great stir in London and country was a province of the Ro-
naments of the Louvre Museum in halted building operations on the man Empire during the first five
Paris. The sculptures of the Par- site of a major skyscraper. centuries of the Christian Era. Ex-
thenon are divided between the Although we think of our muse- cavations were carried out under
British Museum and the Acropo- ums in terms of their Rembrandts the leadership of Dr. E. E. Peter-
lis of Athens where the famous and their Monets, their Renais- son, Director of the Museum, and
fifth century B.C. temple to Ath- sance furniture and their nine- others from 1924 to 1935 at such
ena still stands. One goes to the teenth century clocks, the last fifty varied ancient sites as Pisdian An-
British Museum, not to the origi- years have witnessed a remarkable tioch in Southern Asia Minor, Car-
nal sites of the monuments in increase in the size and value of thage in North Africa, Seleucia on
Western Asia Minor, to see the collections of masterpieces of the, Tigris River, and Karanis, Di-
remains of the Mausoleum of Hali- Greek and Roman art in the mu- may, and Terenouthis in Egypt.
carnassus and the, Temple of Ar- seums of our continent. Since it would be impossible in
temis at Ephesus, two of the seven this space to survey the vast and
wonders of the ancient world. BESIDES purchase of works varied archaeological collections of
The United States and Canada from older European private American and Canadian museums,
collections, several American mu- seven masterpieces representative
Prof. Cornelius Vermeule re- seums and a number of American of the best in these collections
ceived his PhD. in classical universities have enlarged their have been selected for detailed
archaeology from the Universi- collections by conducting excava- analysis. These masterpieces span
ty of London in 1953. He is tions in countries which allow ex- the millennium of Classical art
currently working on a volume port of a certain percentage of the from 500 B.C. to the fall of the
of essays on Greek sculpture. objects of all types discovered in Roman Empire in the West in 476
the operations. The University of(A.D.

unl EN BRNZE NTexATUETTE i, m iIOrU ITNa
MUSEUM OF ART
THE BRONZE horse, about six- of Greek art in any age, particu-
teen inches high, in the Met- larly in the later fifth century B.C.
ropolitan Museum, New York is
typical of the strong sense of ge- IN THE FOURTH century B.C.,
ometry which dominates Greek particularly withthe conquests
art, and of the sense of balance of Alexander the Great (336-323
B.C.), the Greek world spread from
and perfection which the Greeks the central Mediterranean to areas
sought in their works in the medi- which had heretofore been centers
um of sculpture. This horse, which of older and vastly different civil-

S rety lligure r.
Caajm.coftorl.

has lost its tail, perhaps belonged
to a votive chariot group.
The horse was cast about 490
B.C., at the time when Greek art
was on the threshold of the Gol-
den Age of Athens under the great
statesman Pericles and the great
sculptor Pheidias. Greek art at
this time had just cast off the self-
conscious primitivism of the later
Archaic sixth century B.C. and was
realizing the potentials inherent
in representing the divine, human,
and animal worlds in terms of
subconscious grace and harmony.

izations. Greek rule, culture, and
art spread to Syria, Egypt, Persia,
and even into Northern India. The
small, black marble head of Zeus
Serapis in the Francis W. Kelsey
Museum is typical of the demands

Catalina cottons ar
handsomerthey en
your figure. These
Fuller fabrics are s
to belittle your mib
encourage your be
slim your hips to4
mythical size.
Catalina cottons to
taken swimming b
dry fast, hold their
and keep their ohs
Lefts
Gingerbread Man.
ruffled bloomer in
turquoise or yellov
Right t
Sun Sticks. Umbr
with deep V, bow-t
back, $10.95

e not only
chancei z
etwo i
hirred
ddle,
som, and
a
ve to be
oo. They
r color,
ape.
Can Can
pink,A
W, $12.95
ella print y
ied

HIS harmony is present in the
later fifth century B.C. grave-
stone of the young girl Myttion
Ihis marble stele was brought from
Athens to Scotland early in the
last century by the Earl of Elgin,
the gentleman best remembered
for having saved the sculptures of
the Parthenon from further wan-
ton destruction by having them
shipped to England at a great fi-
nancial sacrifice to his family. The
gravestone of Myttion was only
recently acquired from Lord El-
gin's descendants by the J. Paul
Getty Museum in Malibu Califor-
nia
We see the deceased, a young BLACK MARBLE head of Grae-
girl, standing in an attitude of co-Egyptian God Serapis, Fran-
gentle repose, a pet bird held in cis W. Kelsey Museum.
her outstretched left hand. Com-
pared with the carving of the Par- on Greek art brought about by the
thenon, the stele is not a great fusion of Greek worship with tra-
work, yet it is a masterpiece of ditional practices in Egypt.
human feeling revealed beneath This head is a miniature copy
this balanced perfection demanded of the head of the colossal seated
statue of the Graeco-Egyptian god
of the underworld, which was
placed in the earlier third cen-
tury B.C. in the Temple of Serapis
in Alexandria.
The idealized portrait usually
identified as that of the late fourth
century B.C. playwright Menan-
der, in the Boston Museum of Fine
Arts, is one of the outstanding
sculptured portraits in America.
Here we see the later Greek inter-
est in individuality developing
f.-within the limits of ever-present

i

41g.

,.
/
y
/, t

The /*jA ILYN Shofle
329- 3! V. Liberty S Michigan Theatre Bldg.

ATHENIAN marble gravestone, PORTRAIT of Greek Play-
J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, wright Menander, Boston Mu-
California. seum of Fine Arts.

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