The majority of the objects in Beauty, Life, and Spirit: A Celebration of Greek Culture present various aspects of ancient Greek culture. Domestic life is reflected in objects such as oil lamps, containers for perfume and scented oil, figures of animals and human beings, and ceramic vessels with imagery portraying activities such as wool carding, hunting, and getting married. Coins, seals, and clay fragments called ostracons were used for voting and reflect other aspects of life. Cups of various design, vessels used to mix water and wine, and imagery relating to Dionysus, the god of wine, reflect the importance of wine in ancient Greek culture. Objects that contained oil for athletes’ bodies, as well as references to sports and games, remind us that the Olympics began in Greece and that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, occur soon after this exhibition opens. From later centuries are two icons on loan from the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. A number of works from the Gallery’s Collection reflect the continued influence of Greek culture on contemporary art: Richard Hunt’s 1956 steel sculpture, Icarus; Jirí Kolár’s Cycladic Heads, created in 1976, which summarizes many of Greece’s contributions to civilization; Pablo Picasso’s 1964 blue glass sculptures Nymphs and Satyrs; and Greek-born artist Nassos Daphnis’s 1938 painting of washerwomen, Monday in Greece.
Beauty, Life, and Spirit: A Celebration of Greek Culture is the third in a series of exhibitions created in partnership with the Buffalo Museum of Science that incorporates work from both museums’ collections. The first collaboration resulted in Figuratively Speaking: Sculpture from the Collection (November 30, 2007–March 2, 2008), which brought together sculptural pieces that explored a multitude of approaches to the human form. The second exhibition in the series, From Tusk to Tail: Animals and Art (August 29, 2008–January 30, 2009), presented a variety of images of animals from all over the world.
The Gallery will be closed on Monday, December 24; Tuesday, December 25; Monday, December 31; and Tuesday, January 1.