Published: September 26, 2000
An Ambitious Exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum
WORCESTER, MASS. – Organized by the Worcester Art Museum, “Antioch: The Lost Ancient City” is the most ambitious and significant undertaking in Worcester Art Museum’s 102-year history. This landmark exhibition, premiering October 8, reawakens one of the great cities of the Roman Empire with extraordinary treasures created nearly 2,000 years ago and reunited for the first time since their discovery in the 1930s.
Located in southern Turkey near the border of Syria, Antioch ranked with Rome, Carthage, and Constantinople as one of the four great cities of the Roman and early Christian world. Roman emperors (100-520 AD) favored the city by building palaces, public baths, circuses, and an amphitheater. By the Fourth Century, Antioch’s population grew to more than half a million, and was in the forefront of major changes in art, philosophy, and religion. In the Six Century, earthquakes, plagues and famine weakened Antioch, and it became impossible to defend against invaders from the East.
Visitors to this exhibition will experience the luxury of an actual Roman dining room with mosaics from the Louvre and other major museums. They will know what it was like to walk Antioch’s colonnaded streets, take the waters as its famed spa, drink at its public fountains, attend its theaters, and visit its baths. The people of cosmopolitan Antioch will come to life through mosaics, jewelry, glassware, sculpture, and other objects form internationally renowned collections.
The exhibition is organized by Dr Christine Kondoleon, curator of Greek and Roman art at the Worcester Art Museum and a leading world authority on mosaics. Dr Kondoleon was recently called to the site of Belkis, Turkey, where waters rising from a man-made dam were flooding some of the finest Roman mosaics ever discovered.
After the exhibition runs through February 4, 2001, in Worcester, it will travel to Cleveland and Baltimore.
Published by Princeton University, a fully illustrated, 272-page catalogue edited by Dr Christine Kondoleon displays and describes the excavated objects – mosaics, sculpture, glass, metalwork, coins – within their architectural and cultural contexts, thereby evoking the street life as well as the domestic lives of Antioch’s citizens.
The museum is at 55 Salisbury Street. Telephone, 508/799-4406.
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