Exhibition | Winckelmann and Curiosity

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 10, 2018

From Christ Church:

Winckelmann and Curiosity in the 18th-Century Gentleman’s Library
Upper Library at Christ Church, Oxford, 29 June — 26 October 2018

Curated by Amy Smith, K. C. Harloe, and Cristina Neagu

To commemorate the Winckelmann anniversaries 2017/2018, Christ Church Library is preparing an exhibition and series of events in collaboration with the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford and the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading (a particularly appropriate partnership, since the University of Reading owes its origins to an extension college—University Extension College, Reading—founded by Christ Church in 1892).

Like many antiquarians of his day, the German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) first learned about the ancient world through immersion in literature. As a teacher and then librarian in his native Germany, Winckelmann encountered the classics primarily through literary texts, as well as the souvenirs—coins, gems, and figurines—that grand tourists and other travellers had brought north from their visits to Italy. Once he arrived in Rome, where he rose to prominence at Prefect of Antiquities in the Vatican, Winckelmann studied the remains of Greek, Graeco-Roman, and Roman art on a larger scale. Through personal contacts, letters, and other writings, Winckelmann influenced his and subsequent generations of scholars, aesthetes, collectors, craftsmen and artists both within and beyond Italy.

Winckelmann and Curiosity in the 18th-Century Gentleman’s Library explores the scholar’s varied influence on the arts in Britain, through printed media, architecture, and decorative arts. This exhibition is part of the anniversary celebrations of the work of Winckelmann and particularly his impact on the reception of classical art in Britain. The exhibition will be launched with a symposium on Ideals and Nations: New perspectives on the European Reception of Winckelmann’s Aesthetics.

More information on the series of Winckelmann celebrations is available here»

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