(metmuseum.org) Ever wondered what kind of art Alexander and his fellow Greeks saw in their everyday lives? You will see it in this huge exhibit of colossal statuary from about 400 BC up to the Romans in the first century BC. Pergamon, now Bergama in Turkey, was the site of one of the Hellenistic royal courts and is the focus of this exhibit. Most of the art comes from a group of museums including the Met, but especially the Berlin Museum, and other important museums in Greece, Italy, Morrocco, Tunisia and the US.
What we usually see in museums are Roman copies of the original Greek statues because the Greek ones are so rare. But all of these are the original Greek art and they are stunning. In attempts to place the acropolis for us, we have a Friedrich (von) Thiersch’s 1882 depiction of Pergamon in those ancient days. We have the Acropolis today and there are interesting models of the great temple. I especially liked familiar figures we might see today, like this dog doing a play bow and street musicians in tiny mosaics.
We have lost the names of the sculptors but we can see their works: a stupendous 14 foot high Athena,comedy and tragedy masks,and an interesting head of Pompey from 50 BC. The first floor cafe looks out at the park and is now cafeteria style with reasonably priced sandwiches and excellent pastries–trust me on this.
You can gaze on later sculptures in the court next to you.Oh, did I mention the jewelry is really nice?I think I’ll get myself an armband or a diadem next time I’m in a shop.Rory and I obtained our free one-year memberships at the desk with our NYCID cards but you can pay what you wish any day you go. (That’s in small print.)