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"Bull god Apis presented naturalistically" Serapeum of Alexandria, Egypt; height: 74 13/16 inches; Graeco-Roman Museum (GRM 351) Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
"Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds" Exhibition at Saint Louis Art Museum
"Black stone queen"
Heracleion, Egypt; Ptolemaic Period; granodiorite; height: 86 5/8 inches; National Museum, Alexandria (SCA 283), IEASM Excavations
Photo: Christoph Gerigk
© Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
"Colossal statue of the god Hapy" Thonis-Heracleion, Aboukir Bay, Egypt, 4th century BC; red granite; height: 17 feet 8 5/8 x 35 7/16 inches, weight: 6 tons; Maritime Museum, Alexandria (SCA 281), IEASM Excavations Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) -The Saint Louis Art Museum will present "Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds," an exhibition showcasing antiquities from one of the greatest finds in the history of underwater archaeology. The North American premiere of "Sunken Cities" will be the most significant exhibition of ancient Egyptian art undertaken in St. Louis in more than 50 years.
Featuring colossal, 16-foot-tall sculptures and precious artifacts from the long-lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, "Sunken Cities" focuses on discoveries made during the last seven years of underwater excavation lead by Franck Goddio, president of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology.
"Sunken Cities" opens March 25 and will be on view for an extended, six-month run. It recently was shown at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, the British Museum in London and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
"We long have sought an exhibition of ancient Egyptian antiquities that combines both rigorous archaeological research with objects of the highest artistic quality, and 'Sunken Cities' was a perfect match for us," said Brent R. Benjamin, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum. "The museum is pleased to bring this groundbreaking, visually stunning exhibition to St. Louis for its first viewing in America."
The exhibition is organized by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology with the generous support of the Hilti Foundation and in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The presenting sponsor of the exhibition in St. Louis is the William T. Kemper Foundation-Commerce Bank, Trustee with lead corporate support from Edward Jones.
In addition to more than 250 works of art discovered by Goddio's team, the exhibition also includes complementary artifacts from museums in Cairo and Alexandria, some of which never have been shown outside of Egypt.
Thonis-Heracleion-a modern arrangement of the city's Egyptian and Greek names-was built in the Nile delta. The city reached its zenith in the Late Period (664-332 BC), when it served as Egypt's main Mediterranean port. By 800 AD, different natural catastrophies such as earthquake and soil liquefaction had caused both Thonis-Heracleion and the nearby community of Canopus to submerge, and ruins remained underwater for more than 1,000 years.
In 2000, Goddio discovered Thonis-Heracleion under 30 feet of water more than four miles off the Egyptian coast. The French archeologist's research has revealed that this area was important both as a center of trade and as a site of religious pilgrimage. The excavation also helped scholars understand the Mysteries of Osiris, an annual water procession along the canals between Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus commemorating one of Egypt's most important myths-the murder and resurrection of the god Osiris.
"Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds" is curated by Goddio. The presentation in St. Louis is co-curated by Lisa Çakmak, associate curator of ancient art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Sculpture Garden at Saint Louis Art Museum
The Grace Taylor Broughton Sculpture Garden, south of the museum, features an over life-sized bronze sculpture of Hercules and the Hydra, by German sculptor Mathias Gasteiger, positioned among hornbeam and serviceberry trees planted in a tight grid pattern to compliment elements of the Sir David Chipperfield-designed East Building.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The Saint Louis Art
Museum has opened the Grace Taylor Broughton Sculpture Garden, installed with masterworks from the collection and more than 450 new trees, including hornbeam and serviceberry planted in a tight grid pattern.
The transformative project immediately south of the museum was made possible by a generous gift of $5 million from Barbara B. Taylor, president of the Saint Louis Art Museum Board of Commissioners, and Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
In a release, Barbara Taylor said, "Andy and I take great pleasure in supporting the Saint Louis Art Museum's vision of connecting visitors with worldclass sculpture in a distinctive way. This new sculpture garden will be a beautiful and significant addition to the Museum, as well as to Forest Park."
Works in the Museum's collection, including sculpture by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
Aristide Maillol, and Mathias Gasteiger, which complement Stone Sea, a work by Andy Goldsworthy commissioned by the Museum in 2012.
The new garden completes the phased landscape plan designed by Paris-based Michel Desvigne in concert with Sir David Chipperfield's design of the Art Museum's East Building, which opened in summer 2013.
Honored with the Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (2000) the French national Urbanism Grand Prize (2011), Desvigne's landscape projects include Millennium Park in London's Greenwich Peninsula, Luxemburg's Draï
Eechelen Park and the New Qatar National Museum in Doha.
The East Building, designed by Sir David Chipperfield, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, features floor-to-ceiling windows and 23 monumental panels of dark polished concrete, with highlights of Missouri river aggregates. See related story: Saint Louis Art Museum Unveils Contemporary East Building
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.
The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.
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