NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Echoes of the Ancient World: Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman Art from the Permanent Collection just opened at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The exhibition, which is presented in the Cameo Gallery on the second floor of the Museum, focuses new attention upon ancient Egyptian faïence and glass, ancient Greek pottery, and Roman glass, much of which has not been displayed for 30 years.
John Keefe, curator of the Decorative Arts, organized the exhibition in such a way that it becomes evident that ancient art has influenced artists through the centuries even into modern times. When looking at them side by side, it becomes obvious that the 17th century Wedgwood encaustic piece on display was influenced by a red figure pelike from the 5th century. Shabti, funerary figures used in ancient Egyptian times as servants in the afterlife, are also on display in an unique way. The authentic shabti, which date back to 1500 B.C., are placed next to a French fruit cooler, made in 1810, which has a handle shaped like a shabti.
This shows a continuing fascination with ancient Egyptian art and culture, said Keefe. Everything comes from something and this exhibition is a visual representation of the collective human experience. Somehow these ideas about design get passed along. Its interesting that something that is strictly thought of as a 19th century piece actually has roots in ancient art and civilization. Plus, this exhibition was a great excuse to get out the best of NOMAs ancient art.
Echoes of the Ancient World: Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman Art from the Permanent Collection will be on view through February 4, 2007.