Showing 12 results for the tag: Chicago Art Institute.

May 24, 2010

Reinterpretation of the Parthenon Sculptures

Posted at 9:34 pm in Elgin Marbles

I came across this interesting re-interpretation of the Parthenon Frieze recently. Be sure to follow the link to the original post to see the images of the actual artwork.

From:
Designslinger

Sculpturally Alive

I hadn’t visited the blog, eternallycool, in awhile and found this stunning artwork in one of
their recent postings. Spanish photographer, Eugenio Recuenco, along with art director assistance by Eric Dover, and make-up artist Lewis Amarante, photographed live models and created his interpretation of Greek classical sculpture, inspired by the marble figures of the Parthenon.

We have included only a portion of the entire panel, but you’d have to agree that it is a
stunning reinterpretation of the sculpture found in the pediments and friezes of the Athenian temple. The tonal quality he has chosen and his use of chiaroscuro lighting effects, gives us the opportunity to look at the well-known marble figures with a new, dynamic perspective.
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May 29, 2009

How to preserve the worlds museums

Posted at 7:18 pm in British Museum, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

Spiked has predictably written a favourable review of James Cuno’s latest work on why ancient artefacts are best retained by the museums that currently hold them whether or not they were acquired by them legitimately.

From:
Spiked

How to preserve the future of museums
Whose Culture? – a collection of essays defending the vital importance of museums – is a welcome challenge to repatriation policies underpinned by identity politics.
by Tiffany Jenkins

There is a thirteenth century ivory casket on show at the Art Institute of Chicago. The box was made from an elephant’s tusk, probably found in southern Africa and then brought to Sicily, Italy, by Muslim traders from the Swahili coast. It was once used as a Christian reliquary and it bears an inscription in Arabic. Visitors to the Art Institute can also view the fourteenth-century German monstrance made of gilt silver around a translucent vessel. The holder for this relic was a perfume bottle made in Fatimid Egypt.

The ivory casket and the monstrance are just two of many works at the Art Institute which reflect connections between cultures. Artefacts are created through interactions between people, through exchanges of ideas and materials. Questions around who ‘owns’ such objects, where they should be and what meanings we draw from them are at the heart of a debate currently raging amongst archaeologists, museum professionals, nation states and various claimant groups. Now, the once beleaguered side of the debate is finally standing up, arguing loudly that museums are, in fact, good places to keep artefacts and art work and that sending objects back to their assumed countries of origin – which has been the dominant view until now – is not always a good idea.
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October 21, 2008

The lack of progress in Benin

Posted at 12:58 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The winds are starting to change for the reunification of cultural property held in the West, as evidenced by high profiles cases involving Italy, Greece, Ethiopia & others. So far though, Nigeria has not secured the return of any artefacts, despite the fact that the heritage of the kingdom of Benin sits in many of the West’s great institutions & was typically acquired in circumstances of questionable legality.

From:
Modern Ghana

DISSATISFACTION WITH LACK OF PROGRESS IN RESTITUTION OF BENIN ARTEFACTS
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Tue, 21 Oct 2008

The lack of reaction from Western holders of Benin artefacts to the several calls
by Nigerians for restitution is causing anger in many circles.

The report below deals with the renewed calls by the Benin National Council for restitution and a declaration of intention to resort to legal proceedings and what is described as “self-help”.
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September 15, 2008

How often does Nigeria have to ask for artefacts to be returned?

Posted at 4:49 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

As with the Elgin Marbles, many looted Nigerian artefacts are similarly split between different museums around the world – at the start of this article, an illustration is given of a plaque showing a soldier – the top half of it is in the British Museum & the bottom half of it is in London. None of it is currently in Nigeria.

From:
Modern Ghana

BERLIN PLEA FOR THE RETURN OF NIGERIA’S CULTURAL OBJECTS: HOW OFTEN MUST NIGERIA ASK FOR THE RETURN OF ITS STOLEN CULTURAL OBJECTS?
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Mon, 15 Sep 2008

When I read reports on the opening of the exhibition Benin Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria on 8 February 2008, at the Ethnology Museum, Berlin, I was surprised by the general impression given that the Nigerians were in no hurry to recover the stolen Benin bronzes; they were said to be more interested in co-operation with the Ethnology Museum and above all, in establishing an inventory of the Benin artefacts. (2)

As readers know by now, it has become a hallmark of this travelling exhibition that speeches made at the opening are not fully reported. The museum hosting the exhibition does not issue any full report on the opening. The reason seems to be the desire to avoid raising issues fundamental to the relations between the hosts and Nigeria, such as the issue of restitution of the Benin bronzes. Experience however, has shown that wherever this travelling exhibition went there were controversies regarding restitution. Questions were raised in different manners and with different intensities.
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August 23, 2008

Lectures on the Encyclopaedic Museum

Posted at 2:05 pm in British Museum, Events, Similar cases

James Cuno, Neil MacGregor, Phillipe De Montebello & Thomas Gaehtgens represent the astonishingly one sided collection of speakers lecturing in Chicago on the concept formerly known as the Universal Museum. (details of each lecture follow the main article).

From:
Chicago Art Institute

NEWS: The Art Institute of Chicago Presents: 360 Degrees: Art beyond Borders
22 Aug 2008

The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

27 September 2008–16 June 2009

[…]

Join us for a wealth of insightful and exciting 360 Degrees programming.

# Lectures: Four engaging lecture series occur throughout the season. In “The Fate of Encyclopedic Museums,” directors from the Art Institute, the Getty, the British Museum, and the Met discuss the role of the encyclopedic museum. Noted scholars also explore current and historical perspectives on globalization and Art Institute curators give their take on the encyclopedic nature of their collections.
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August 21, 2008

A plea for fair & equal treatment of cultural property

Posted at 12:52 pm in Similar cases

Dr Kwame Opoku responds to this article in Culture Kiosque reviewing James Cuno’s book.

From:
Culture Kiosque

READER COMMENT: A PLEA FOR FAIR AND EQUAL TREATMENT
By Dr. Kwame Opoku

NEW YORK, 21 AUGUST 2008 — Dr. Kwame Opoku, a retired legal adviser in Vienna, Austria, responds to Culturekiosque contributor Alan Behr’s recent review of James Cuno’s new book, “Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage” Princeton University Press).
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August 18, 2008

Avoiding the subject of provenance

Posted at 12:43 pm in Similar cases

Even otherwise excellent books published by museums, can tend to gloss over how items came to leave their homelands.
If museums aren’t ashamed of how artefacts were acquired, then why don’t they discuss it clearly.

From:
Modern Ghana

ONCE MORE BENIN: REVIEW OF BENIN: ROYAL ARTS OF A WEST AFRICAN KINGDOM BY KATHLEEN BICKFORD BERZOCK
By Kwame Opoku, Dr.
Feature Article | Fri, 15 Aug 2008

This book corresponds to what I think the average visitor to an exhibition needs: a short introduction to the subject-matter, with illustrations and sufficient information for the reader to understand the significance of the theme without being burdened by too many pages.
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August 17, 2008

James Cuno & cultural property

Posted at 5:50 pm in Acropolis, Elgin Marbles, Similar cases

James Cuno wants trade in cultural properties to be a free market – because his institution would stand to gain from this, being relatively wealthy. Suffice to say, he arguments against Cuno’s reasoning have been covered many times already.

From:
Culture Kiosque

A HUMANIST PLEA FOR FREE-RANGING ANTIQUITIES
By Alan Behr
NEW YORK, 14 AUGUST 2008

There are few subjects in law more contentious than property rights, and when property stirs the emotions, there can be no end to the bickering. Divorce proceedings are notorious for that, as anyone knows who has ever battled a soon-to-be-ex-spouse to exhaustion over a sofa, clock or spaniel of no value or charm.

Nations can play that game too, and because they do it with antiquities, they are finding that the Zeitgeist is in their favor, reports James Cuno in his new book, Who Owns Antiquity? (Princeton University Press, 256 pages). Cuno is the president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago — one of the encyclopedic art museums (to use Cuno’s phrase) that are the quiet protagonists of his book. They are the museums that, like bees ranging over a broad field, pollinate the world with the art, history and culture of its constituent regions. The Elgin Marbles were carved in Athens and the Rosetta Stone was found in Egypt, but they are now displayed at the British Museum, in London. The Pergamon Altar was built by the Greeks, removed from what is now Turkey and is on view in Berlin. I used to be able to take a ten-minute walk to The Metropolitan Museum to see the Euphronios krater , one of the finest surviving bowls of classical Greece, but I can’t do that anymore because it was packed off — not to Greece, but to Italy.
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August 1, 2008

How the Benin Bronzes left Benin

Posted at 12:42 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Inspired by Kwame Opoku’s writings on the Benin Bronzes, David Gill looks at the story of how the Benin Bronzes ended up in the great museums of the western world & how this relates to James Cuno’s analysis of the importance of artefacts such as these within an Encyclopaedic museum.

From:
Modern Ghana

Some Thoughts on the Benin Bronzes
By David Gill
Feature Article | Wed, 30 Jul 2008

James Cuno (in Who Owns Antiquity? [2008]) takes six objects from the holdings of the Art Institute of Chicago to demonstrate its character as an “encyclopedic museum”. The third piece is a bronze plaque from Benin that was acquired in 1933; Cuno speculates that it probably “left” the kingdom of Benin following the punitive raid by the British in 1897.

Kwame Anthony Appiah (Cosmopolitanism [2006]) also uses the Benin bronzes as he asks the question, “Whose Culture Is it, Anyway?”
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July 14, 2008

Is Cuno relenting on restitution?

Posted at 1:16 pm in Similar cases

Cuno’s comments at the opening of the exhibition Benin – Kings and Rituals: Royal Arts from Nigeria suggejst that he is willing to consider restitution claims. At this point though it is unclear whether he has had a change of heart since the publication of his book, or if his quote was taken out of context. If it is the former though, then it is a very positive step.

From:
Modern Ghana

BENIN EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO: CUNO AGREES TO CONSIDER REQUEST FOR RESTITUTION OF BENIN BRONZES
By Dr. Kwame Opoku
Feature Article | Mon, 14 Jul 2008

As readers know, the exhibition, Benin – Kings and Rituals: Royal Arts from Nigeria, which started in Vienna, in 2007, went on to Paris and Berlin, was opened in Chicago, on 10 July and will be there until 21 September 2008.

For various reasons, including the fear of litigation and judicial attempts to seize some of the Benin bronzes, only some 220 objects will be displayed in Chicago compared to some 300 objects in Berlin. The bad consciences of some of the holders of these objects seem to have been activated by the previous protests in Chicago and the discussions on the illegality and illegitimacy of their possession. Hence some owners were not willing to let their artefacts cross the Atlantic to the USA where judges are quick to order seizure of artworks which are alleged to have been stolen or dubious provenance.
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June 27, 2008

Cuno talks with Conforti

Posted at 10:10 am in British Museum, Similar cases

May 18, 2008

The universal museum – from Benin to Chicago

Posted at 8:24 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

Popularised as a concept in recent years by the British Museum, is the concept of the Universal Museum in the todays world anything more than a marketing strategy for the continued retention of artefacts by the worlds most powerful museums?

From:
Modern Ghana

BENIN TO CHICAGO: IN THE UNIVERSAL MUSEUM?
By Dr. Kwame Opoku
Sat, 17 May 2008
Feature Article

“And I am left thinking that the “Enlightenment principles on which public museums in the United States were established” have perhaps contributed to the irreversible destruction of our universal, or cosmopolitan, cultural heritage”.

David Gill, Collecting Antiquities and Enlightenment Principles (1)

…The exhibition, Benin: Kings and Rituals Court Arts from Nigeria, goes to the Art Institute of Chicago (A.I.C.) from July 10 – September 21, 2008 as the final station of this travelling exhibition which, starting in Vienna, generated debates about restitution of stolen art, went to Paris and Berlin. It is to be noted that the exhibition which is the biggest ever held on Benin art will not be seen in Nigeria. It goes next to Chicago. But what kind of institution is the Art Institute of Chicago?
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