From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics

From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics

Hardcover

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Overview

As archaeologists unearth the past, they seek meaning or purpose for the objects they uncover by looking at the objects themselves and their archaeological context. Art historians, on the other hand, primarily focus on aesthetics, asking why a particular object stimulates our senses, and what that tells us about ourselves. From Ancient to Modern offers a lens for understanding ancient objects through the perspectives and processes of both archaeology and aesthetics, and, in so doing, illuminates the multiple layers of meaning that a single object can take on—sometimes simultaneously—over the course of its existence.

This beautifully illustrated volume is the accompanying catalog for the exhibition at New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and focuses on fifty objects from three iconic sites in the ancient Near East: Ur, Diyala, and Kish. The excavation, unique characteristics, and transformative journey of each object—from archaeological artifact to aesthetic item—are examined. Select contemporary artworks are also considered in the investigation of how ancient objects acquire meaning in the present day.

Contributors include Kim Benzel, Jennifer Chi, Jean Evans, Lynn Grant, Jack Green, William Hafford, Marc Marin, Naomi Miller, Holly Pittman, Clemens Reichel, Karen Wilson, and Richard Zettler.

Cover photograph © Bruce M. White, 201?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691166469
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 03/22/2015
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 2.50(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Y. Chi is exhibitions director and chief curator at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Pedro Azara is professor of aesthetics and the theory of art at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

Table of Contents

6 Letter from Julian Siggers

Williams Director, University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

8 Letter from Roger S. Bagnall

Leon Levy, Director, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

10 Acknowledgments

Jennifer Y. Chi, Exhibitions Director and Chief Curator, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

16 From Ancient to Modern: A Chronology

20 Map

22 1 Glam-UR-ous: The Art of Archaeology and Aesthetics

Jennifer Y. Chi, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

Pedro Azara, Polytechnic University of Catalonia

54 2 The Golden Image of Archaeology before the Second World War

Pedro Azara, Polytechnic University of Catalonia

Marc Marín, Polytechnic University of Catalonia

86 3 Magnificent with Jewels: Puabi, Queen of Ur

William B. Hafford, University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Richard L. Zettler, University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

106 4 Puabi's Diadem(s): The Deconstruction of a Mesopotamian Icon

Holly Pittman, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Naomi F. Miller, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

132 5 What Does Puabi Want (Today)? The Status of Puabi as Image

Kim Benzel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

162 6 Ground to Gallery: The Discovery, Interpretation, and Display of Early Dynastic Sculpture from the Iraq Expedition of the Oriental Institute

Jack D. M. Green, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Jean M. Evans, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

194 Appendix: Back to the Beginning; The Aesthetics and Allure of Field Records

Clemens Reichel, Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto

202 Exhibition Checklist

231 Bibliography

239 Photography and Drawing Credits

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This thought-provoking book addresses critical issues concerning how ancient objects inform our knowledge of the past as well as our present. I can't emphasize enough how crucial it is to convey to the public how precarious things are in the modern region of ancient Mesopotamia and how each object in this catalog is a miracle of survival, discovery, and interpretation. The authors of this volume are among the best in their field and their work is of the utmost importance."—Sidney Babcock, The Morgan Library and Museum

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