Thursday, October 7, 2010

‘Heroes: Mortals and Myths’

There is no obvious connection here to Masonic ritual and symbol, unless you really do a background check on a certain artificer we know, during which you will bump heads with Greek gods and heroes like Hephaestus and Daedalus. Of course in other inquiries we can meet Hermes, Pallas Athena, and others. All this makes the current exhibition at the Onassis Cultural Center in midtown Manhattan well worthwhile for the thinking Freemason.

As the curator says:

Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece
Exhibition to explore the role of heroes in society
Onassis Cultural Center
October 5, 2010 - January 3, 2011

The age-old figures of Herakles, Odysseus, Achilles and Helen continue to fire the popular imagination today-and so does the concept of heroes, which began with the stories and images of these and other fabled Greek characters. Yet the very word “hero” has a different meaning in our society than it did in an ancient Greek world that seemed, to its people, to be alive with Greek heroes and heroines.

Heroes brings together more than 90 exceptional artworks focusing on the Archaic, Classical and the Hellenistic period (6th - 1st century BCE), drawn from collections in the United States and Europe. Through these objects, which range from large-scale architectural sculptures to beautifully decorated pottery and miniature carved gemstones, the exhibition shows how the ancient Greek heroes were understood and how they served as role models. It also explores this human need for heroes as role models through the arts of one of the oldest and most influential civilizations in history.

To provide a better understanding of the lives, fates and meanings of the first heroes and heroines, to explore the inherent human need for heroes and to give audiences an opportunity to measure their own ideas of heroes against the ideas represented by a wealth of extraordinary Classical Greek artworks, the Onassis Cultural Center in Midtown Manhattan presents the exhibition Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, on view from October 5, 2010 to January 3, 2011. Admission is free.

The exhibition has been organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in cooperation with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA).

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Comprehensive brochures are offered free to visitors.

Educational programs include guided tours for students of schools, colleges and universities and bi-weekly tours, every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m., open to the public.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.
Admission: Free

Entrances on 51st and 52nd streets between Fifth and Madison avenues.

Please do visit the Onassis Center website to read much more and enjoy the photos.

Maybe I will see you there. I’m going to try to get Mythology Café and my classical literature book club to make group trips and take the tour.

Head of Polyphemos, First or second century A.D., Roman, Thasian marble, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photo © 2010 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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