Aphrodite in the style of the Capitoline Venus, ca. 150 AD, marble, provenance unknown, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Inv. Sk 30)

Dancer, after the so-called Berlin Dancer, 2nd century AD, marble, Rome, Italy, Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Inv. Sk 208)

Olympus: The Greco-Roman Collections of Berlin

April 17, 2015 to March 31, 2016

Honourary Patrons:
Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for Manitoba
His Excellency Werner Franz Wnendt, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada

Olympus: The Greco-Roman Collections of Berlin is the first major exhibition of classical antiquities in Winnipeg in over half a century. The WAG is one of only two venues in North America to present this monumental exhibition of ancient Greek and Roman art dating from the 5th century BC to the 2nd century AD, through a partnership with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). When it comes to collections of classical art, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Olympus features over 160 works, including marble statues and reliefs, bronze statuettes, terracotta vases, and jewelry from the Berlin State Museum’s classical antiquities collection, drawn from the Altes Museum and the Pergamonmuseum. Originating in the 17th century with the Electors of Brandenburg, the collection was built over three centuries from archaeological excavations in Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor from such sites as Olympia in 1845, Vulci in 1852, and Pergamon in 1878. Rarely seen outside of Europe, the collection survived the Napoleonic Wars, two World Wars, and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This is a unique opportunity to see an astonishing number of representations of Greek and Roman gods and other classical personalities in artworks of exceedingly high quality, known for their historic, cultural, and aesthetic merit. Olympus explores the fascinating world of mythology and religion, reflecting the universal preoccupation with creation, the nature of god and humankind, the afterlife, and other spiritual concepts. From the times of Homer and Hesiod, intriguing myths and legends have remained constant because of their beauty and power. A longstanding source of inspiration for the world, these stories have been renewed and interpreted with infinite variations, expressed in exciting and challenging new ways through literature, visual art, music, dance, and film.

Outreach to schools and post-secondary institutions will be extensive. Watch for online resources for teachers to be posted soon!

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