From the Temple and the Tomb
Sun, January 25, 2009 • Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas
As part of spring 2009’s Dallas-wide celebration of ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, the Meadows Museum will honor the 15th anniversary of SMU professor P. Gregory Warden’s excavation in Poggio Colla, Italy, with an exhibition dedicated to the great ancestors of Rome: the Etruscans. From the Temple and the Tomb will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Etruscan art ever undertaken in America, with more than 300 objects spanning the 9th through 1st centuries B.C.The exhibition will include ritual objects, such as votive bronzes offered to the gods in sanctuaries, or objects used for interpreting the will of the gods, such as the still-mysterious Magliano lead disc. The exhibition also will include an entire temple pediment—the terracotta decoration for the front of an Etruscan temple.
Additionally, a multitude of objects will be shown from Etruscan tombs: sarcophagi and ash urns, guardian animals and demons, as well as the splendid gold, silver, bronze, ivory, and ceramic objects that were deposited in the tombs of the wealthy. Especially impressive is the gold jewelry, so technically advanced that it is difficult to reproduce today.
Etruscan art reveals an incredible variety of styles, ranging from naturalistic depictions that foreshadow later Roman portraits to abstracted figures that look so remarkably un-classical they might have been done in the 20th century A.D. rather than the 6th century B.C. This important collaboration with the Florence Archaeological Museum will introduce Meadows visitors to the liveliness and vigor of Etruscan art, bringing to life a vibrant but lost culture at the heart of the Mediterranean tradition.