On Saturday we took advantage of the Museums On Us program with Bank of America for free general admission to the Portland Art Museum, click here to learn more.
We paid an extra $5 for admission to the Body Beautiful exhibit and it did not disappoint. The Body Beautiful is an exhibit of Greek sculptures, pottery, and armor. The exhibit also includes Roman marble sculptures that were copies of Greek originals. The collection belongs to the British Museum, which is sending the collection on tour across the United States. The exhibit’s first stop was here in Portland.
I was looking forward to seeing the Roman sculptures. It fascinates me that once Rome fell we did not see this kind of art again until the Renaissance, 1000 years later. It took us about an hour to tour the exhibit; we did not explore the rest of the museum, but if you have the time it is worth exploring.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Like many of the marble sculptures on display, this is a Roman copy of the Greek original. The Romans, much like we are today, were fascinated by Greek culture and they pillaged Greek antiquities long before the British did. This particular piece (sans head) was unearthed at Hadrian’s Villa in 1790. It was purchased by a rich Brit named Charles Townley who had the piece restored but had the head put on incorrectly (should be facing up).
The collection also includes a couple pieces of Greek armor. The most amazing thing about these pieces is how small they are. You really need to see these in person to appreciate how much smaller people were 2500 years ago.
Of course no exhibit of Greek art being displayed in Portland, Oregon would be complete without a statuette of the Greek god of victory, Nike. Can you see the swoosh?by