Posts by Chrissy Partheni
Just before Christmas we opened the exhibition ‘Beauty and Virtue: 18th century English collecting of classical art’ at the National Museum of Anthropology – the largest and most visited museum in Mexico City. It’s taken two years of careful planning and has involved the work of different NML teams and an ongoing collaboration with our Mexican colleagues from INAH. Showcasing the diversity and richness of our collections, the core of the exhibition is from the sculpture collections of Henry Blundell, alongside paintings from the Walker’s and Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collections, including works on papers and Wedgwood material. They serve well to introduce the theme of 18th century Grand Tour and also help demonstrate the influence classical antiquity had on artists’ education and training, and the new ways artists reimagined the ancient classical world.
Over the last two years we have been preparing some of our collections of Roman sculpture for the exhibition, ‘Age of Reason’ at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
22 February 2018 by Chrissy Partheni
Roman religion, especially during early Imperial times, was to a great extent formal and public, with organised rituals and hierarchies of divinity and priesthood. But there were also popular cults and informal religious practices and beliefs, like the ones represented in our collection of magical gem stones. Read more…
Travel through time, from prehistoric Crete and the Minoans to the Mycenaean palaces and tombs of the Peloponnese with our Ancient Greek collection. Through the stories of our diverse range of objects you can discover the different phases of Ancient Greek history, including the sanctuaries of Artemis Orthia in Sparta, Hellenistic Ephesus and even lands as far as the Roman Cyzicus (now in Turkey), as well as learning how the interactions of ancient Greeks with other cultures facilitated the development of new ideas.
11 July 2017 by Chrissy Partheni
Nothing beats visiting archaeological sites and taking part in live excavations. While working on digitising the material from the Kouklia 1950s excavations in our collections I contacted Professor Maria Iacovou from the University of Cyprus about the Palaepaphos Urban Landscape Project (PULP) and current excavations at Kouklia in Cyprus as part of my documentation. I was delighted when Maria kindly invited me to visit the site and meet members of the team.
I will never forget my first impression of Liverpool, almost 18 years ago. The impressive architecture of the city with its classical references was definitely an attraction to a Greek. But while it is easy to spot the classical influences on the exterior of Liverpool’s buildings, we often miss their interior decoration. The extension of our brand new café into the Mountford building is an excellent opportunity to view such prime examples and to perhaps think of the reasons why classical antiquity imagery became such an important narrative of civic pride and glory in 19th century Liverpool.
2 February 2017 by Chrissy Partheni
Ancient marble sculpture is irresistibly attractive: there are strong, ideal and sensual bodies, elaborate folds and drapery, complex hairstyles and realist or ideal faces to admire at. For centuries Ancient Classical sculpture came to epitomise beauty, to connect physical beauty with spiritual one and often to promote virtue and good citizenship. But is there more than meets the eye?
6 September 2016 by Chrissy Partheni
My mother is from the town of Morphou in Cyprus and I therefore have always felt a special connection with the Cypriot collections in the antiquities department. One significant group is material from Kouklia, from a joint excavation between our museum and St. Andrews University. The excavation was ambitious and of significant scale and attracted a lot of media attention as a result. It was undertaken across five successive seasons from 1950 – 1955. It’s hard to imagine museums having the resource to undertake such a large excavation today in the current economic climate. Read more…