Sette cervi d’argento per Papa Silvestro

In un rapido passaggio del Liber Pontificalis, relativo al tempo di Papa Silvestro, in riferimento alle importanti donazioni di Costantino al battistero lateranense, si elencano le preziose e pesanti statue che decoravano la vasca battesimale, ovvero un agnello d’oro che effondeva acqua, che pesava 30 libbre; il Salvatore in finissimo argento del peso di ben 70 libbre; il Battista, pure in argento, che spiegava un rotolo ove era scritto Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi, di ben 125 libbre; sette cervi argentei, che effondevano acqua, ognuno dei quali pesava 80 libbre (Liber Pontificalis, i, 174).

È vero che il passo in questione e la successiva dettagliata lista dei redditi e donazioni finanziarie, in aggiunta a quelle già cospicue della basilica costantiniana, soffrono per molte difficoltà di giudizio, che insorgono non appena si tenti di calare temi e interventi decorativi nel clima culturale del tempo, ma è anche vero che le immagini selezionate per la preziosa suppellettile del battistero lateranense rievocano, come in una rassegna emblematica, tutti quegli elementi che compongono la materia iconografica a tema battesimale e rigenerativo.

La scena del battesimo del Cristo rappresenta il fulcro di tutto il progetto decorativo. Tale rappresentazione, insieme al battesimo del neofita, appare molto precocemente nello scenario iconografico paleocristiano, inserendosi nei programmi figurativi dei più antichi monumenti pittorici e plastici romani, in un arco cronologico che si muove dal traguardo del ii secolo sino alla metà del seguente. Dopo la scena originale e libera da ogni codice e da ogni schema delle cripte di Lucina, dove il Battista sembra aiutare il Cristo a uscire dalle acque del Giordano, il tema torna, di lì a pochi anni, nei cunicoli dei sacramenti in San Callisto e nel sarcofago di Santa Maria Antiqua, denunciando il precoce assestamento della rappresentazione, dove il Precursore, secondo una tendenza diffusa nella tarda antichità, assume proporzioni maggiorate rispetto al Cristo, per indicare la dinamica semantica dell’azione.

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Hegel on Athena’s Owl

Um noch über das Belehren, wie die Welt sein soll, ein Wort zu sagen, so kommt dazu ohnehin die Philosophie immer zu spät. Als der Gedanke der Welt erscheint sie erst in der Zeit, nachdem die Wirklichkeit ihren Bildungsprozeß vollendet und sich fertig gemacht hat. Dies, was der Begriff lehrt, zeigt notwendig ebenso die Geschichte, daß erst in der Reife der Wirklichkeit das Ideale dem Realen gegenüber erscheint. . . Wenn die Philosophie ihr Grau in Grau malt, dann ist eine Gestalt des Lebens alt geworden, und mit Grau in Grau läßt sie sich nicht verjüngen, sondern nur erkennen; die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.

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Leonardo da Vinci, National Gallery - review

Virgin territory: the Madonna Litta, c.1491-95, from St Petersburg, an icon modernised, its realism based on drawings from life. The lapis lazuli of her robe is in characteristic breakdown 

In Vinci, a small town a morning's walk to the west of Florence, on 15 April 1452, Leonardo - famous painter, sculptor, architect, mathematician, anatomist and engineer - was born into a family that had adopted the town's name as its own. He was the illegitimate son of Piero, a young notary (a lawyer of sorts), and Catarina, a local farmer's daughter. What a momentous out-of-wedlock conjugation theirs had been on 15 July 1451 or thenabouts, in the heat of the day or the cool of the evening, in a meadow of wild flowers, a hayloft, or up against the cowshed wall. Had they wandered off to the banks of the Arno, or were there snuffling pigs in earshot? Was it merely the lustful rutting of the young in heat, or the coupling of hapless lovers thwarted and divided by class and property? More than half a century later Leonardo was to write on a sheet of related drawings that if intercourse is performed with love as well as desire, the consequent child will be of great intelligence, wit and charm; as this he knew himself to be, was it a yearning recollection of his parents?

For this bastard there was a kinder fate than might have been, for Leonardo's paternal grandfather was something of a gentleman and from a family of notaries, and it was he, not Catarina's father, who took the boy into his household as a dependant, recording the birth as of "a grandson, the child of Piero, my son". Both the young parents were within months married to spouses more suitable in class and played little significant further part in Leonardo's life. As no other son was born to his father until Leonardo was 24 (and then by Piero's third wife), the illegitimate boy, grown into a man, occupied a disconcerting position in the family, both of it and precariously not of it, his illegitimacy denying him entry into a suitable formal profession and apparently denying him a formal education too (little Latin and no Greek a constant hindrance in his later studies). One other member of the family perhaps deserves attention - Francesco, Leonardo's uncle, who was only 16 years his senior, died childless and left him his estate. We should also bear in mind that Leonardo, twice accused of the sodomy for which Florence was, across Europe, notorious for seven centuries, was capable of extraordinary affection and loyalty to young men, an element of self likely to colour both the spirit and the substance of his work as a painter. Indeed, almost all who set out to explain the life and work of Leonardo are so waylaid by his homosexuality, so diverted by it, that they follow Freud into a wilderness to discover more than was ever there.

There can be little doubt that Leonardo's background so hindered his development as a painter - he was late in beginning his apprenticeship and late in setting up his own independent workshop - that, at 30, when he left Florence for Milan, he had executed little work to commend him as a genius. Nevertheless, in his Madonna of the Carnation, a small private work, he had established the physical type of the Christ Child in his later paintings (the plump muscularity of the infant Mussolini, as it were), the mountainous landscape background common to the Virgin of the Rocks and the Mona Lisa, his use of demonstrative gesture, and an enquiring interest in colour, light, shadow, contre-jour effects, and in the physical nature of drapery, materials and other details. In the Adoration of the Magi that he left so unfinished on his departure for Milan in 1481 or so that it is essentially a drawing magnificent in scale, he demonstrated a profound knowledge of perspective (though still unable to join his foreground to his background), of horses that were to reappear in a battle scene and two equestrian monuments, and of men, old and young, real and ideal, whose expressions, gestures and beauty were to reappear in The Last Supper.

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Roald Dahl Museum

Hello MuseumPeople!

There has been a bit of a kerfuffle over the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre's campaign to save the garden hut where the author wrote his stories. The hut and its contents have been untouched since his death 21 years ago, and is now in a state of disrepair. The campaign hopes to raise £500,000 to move it to the Museum where the contents can be conserved and displayed.

Sadly for the Museum, it's all gone horribly wrong.

Here's the original radio programme link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9589000/9589401.stm and for those of you outside the UK, a report from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14896735. It generated so many complaints to the BBC that the radio show interviewed the Museum director later on to have her answer some of the criticisms.

The campaign's spokeswoman is none other than Dahl's millionaire granddaughter Sophie, model and TV presenter and wife of successful jazz musician Jamie Cullum.  Roald Dahl's books are still in copyright and have been turned into hugely successful films in recent years. The general feeling amongst the public is that the family and estate could and should cover the costs if it is so important to them. The campaign has also not articulated terribly well what the £500,000 is for, and is now struggling to explain over the outrage why conservation is so expensive. There are lots of comments that it's a lot of money to hire a man with a van and buy some children's chairs for an exhibition room.

The issue has united the left (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2011/sep/13/roald-dahl-fund-hut?intcmp=239) and right (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8760530/Do-it-yourself-outcry-over-Roald-Dahls-shed.html) of the press and public. It's sad to see such high-profile hostility directed at a museum, especially as the sector is vulnerable in a recession. Frankly, I have to agree that as it was the family that let it rot for decades, then they ought to responsible for the damage their neglect caused.

Your thoughts?
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  • amcult

Официальная программа фестиваля "Музейный гид"/регистрация

2-3 сентября, 2011
ЦСИ Винзавод/Цех Красного
Вход свободный

международная выставочно-дискуссионная платформа

Сегодня официально открыта регистрация на события Фестиваля "МУЗЕЙНЫЙ ГИД"!

Заявки высылать на почту museum.guide.fest@gmail.com с указанием мероприятия фестиваля и Вашей контактной информацией.

Регистрация на конференцию TEDxWinzavod  "Непрерывное пространство коммуникаций: город, музей, социум" проходит ОТДЕЛЬНО -  Зарегистрироваться на конференцию.

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Biology Curation

Hello everyone! Long time member and lurker at museumpeople.

In March 2011 I got the wonderful opportunity to become Manchester Museum's Biology Curatorial Trainee. I've been keeping a blog about my experiences since then if anyone is interested.

The latest posts have been about:

Temporary storage space for gallery birds

Identifying specimens by using other collections

A visit to Leeds Discovery Centre

Hope you enjoy reading!
  • amcult


Благотворительный фонд В.Потанина представляет:

международная выставочно-дискуссионная платформа

Центр современного искусства ВИНЗАВОД
2-3 сентября 2011 г.
Вход – свободный

– это одновременно и открытый фестиваль, и профессиональное событие нового типа, представляющее музей как актуальный современный культурный центр, способный профессионально интерпретировать наследие, быть интересным самым разным зрителям, эффективно пользоваться новейшими технологиями. И не случайно местом проведения фестиваля был выбран Центр современного искусства ВИНЗАВОД - пространство, где представляются новейшие практики в области искусства и культуры.

МУЗЕЙНЫЙ ГИД представляет музеи как пространство нового опыта и ярких впечатлений. Разговор о музеях пойдет по-новому: презентации и стенды заменит кураторская выставка, интерпретирующая 6 успешных музейных проектов. А вместо официальных церемоний будет работать дискуссионный клуб, где в режиме нон-стоп для профессионалов и самой широкой публики будут проходить встречи с ведущими европейскими и российскими экспертами, работающими с музеями.
Музеи делают шаг навстречу современной аудитории и готовы рассказывать о себе на современном языке. Вопреки стереотипам – они не боятся экспериментировать.

Главное профессиональное мероприятие МУЗЕЙНОГО ГИДА – представление победителей VIII грантового конкурса «Меняющийся музей в меняющемся мире» и V Всероссийского межмузейного конкурса «Первая публикация 2011» Благотворительного фонда В.Потанина.

Вся информация о программе, участниках, организаторах и аккредитации на
Официальном сайте МУЗЕЙНОГО ГИДА 


27 июня, 20:00
Вход свободный

Встреча с европейским экспертом в области культуры и коммуникаций Валентайном Биванком/ Valentijn Byvanck,Нидерланды.

Вы сможете спросить:
Почему мы посещаем тот или иной музей, магазин или ночной клуб?
Что такое шедевр? Могу ли я создать шедевр сам? 
Вы сможете узнать:
Как создать собственный шедевр.
Как вовлечь посетителей в жизнь и работу музея.
Как вдохнуть новую жизнь в музейную коллекцию.
Также Вы получите ответы на самые смелые и неожиданные вопросы!
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Для регистрации на встречу с Валентайном Биванком, напишите, пожалуйста, письмо-завку по адресу: Aleksandra.kikhai@gmail.com
Телефон для справок: +7 906 098 81 69 / Александра Кихай/ АМК
Встреча пройдет в рамках проекта Museum token/Музейный сувенир

a plug for my latest blog post.

Hello museumpeople,
I have a little blog about the history of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This time I decided to change it up a bit and write about museums. The post is for nonspecialists, but I thought I'd share it with fellow museum people as well. I'd love feedback, and also love to know -- what museum blogs or history blogs do you follow?

Apart from being a history blogger, I am currently a tour guide and museum educator in two history museums.  Today at Cambridge Considered, I want to share some of my museum knowledge that I thought readers of history might find interesting.

Shh... the artifacts are resting. Materials become fragile over the years – for example, paints fade and fibers weaken with prolonged exposure to light. Museum galleries are designed to be gentle on the artifacts. They are not too hot or moist, and the lighting is not too harsh. Still, they are far from perfect, so from time to time, most museum artifacts are “rested”: they are placed in storage, where it is dark and the climate can be kept consistent.

read on at cambridgeconsidered.blogspot.com/2011/05/s
or, on a mobile device, cambridgeconsidered.blogspot.com/views/m
Mister Mistoffeles

17th Annual Legacy Oral History Workshop, $50 Discount for Museum Staff

Museum of Performance & Design - San Francisco, CA
August 4-6, 2011
Learn how to plan, organize, and conduct fascinating interviews, use current technologies to produce digital media projects, refine your editing skills, and prepare oral history print texts for printing or publication.  
The workshop is designed to meet the needs of beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. Former workshop participants have included university faculty, master’s and doctoral candidates, personal historians, historical societies, library and museum staff, government and corporate employees, and board and staff of nonprofits. 
The three-day intensive is led by oral historians Jeff Friedman PhD and Basya Petnick.
This year there is a $50 discount off the regular early bird rate for museum staff.
Please see our website for more complete information: http://www.mpdsf.org/PAGES/PROGRAM/legacy.html. If you have questions or wish to request a registration form, please email legacy2011@mpdsf.org or call 415-255-4800, ext. *823.