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Preview of The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece at the Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art director Max Anderson discusses The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece (photo by Mr. Holga)

Dallas Museum of Art director Max Anderson discusses The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece (photo by Mr. Holga)

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum
Dallas Museum of Art
May 5 through October 6, 2013

This past week I got to preview The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA). I always enjoy a nearly private tour of a new exhibition. It would be totally private if it were not for the other three dozen members of the media. Alas, what is an art aficionado to do?

Dallas Art News walkabout art reporter Claire Troy was on hand for this preview. She is writing the definitive review of The Body Beautiful. Claire’s review should be ready next week.

Today’s post is a quick overview of the exhibition.

First and foremost, Greek and Roman sculpture is beautiful to behold. The long since past artists really knew what they were doing when they plied tool to marble to create everlasting works of athleticism. Which brings me to caution my readers, these statues are naked people. Expect to see more than a few naked butts, penises and boobs. But this is no surprise to museum patrons, such as yourself.

The Body Beautiful is not wall-to-wall with statue after statue. Instead, there is ample room for visitors to view up close, from a distance, and completely around the major works in the exhibition. After all, sculpture should be enjoyed in the round.

My one complaint it he level of lighting. The Body Beautiful exhibition is too dark for my liking. These works were meant to be seen in the outdoors. The display at the DMA is very dramatic, but I would prefer to have more lighting to see the statues.

One gem not to miss is the small statuette of Sokrates (Socrates). This is one of the only known full body states of the famous Greek philosopher. It is a delicately detailed work that should not be overlooked. The statuette captures Sokrates’s curly beard, smooth skin and the folds of his robe. The other can’t miss work is the head of Herakles, which will be seen before exiting. This massive head sculpture really holds the room with its sheer presence. I really love the high-relief curls of Herakles’s hair and beard.

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum opens today at the Dallas Museum of Art. I recommend seeing The Body Beautiful along with Chagall: Beyond Color and Cindy Sherman. Chagal closes May 26 and Sherman closes June 9.

The Body Beautiful Image Gallery

Click on any of the thumbnails below to view a larger image. All photos are by Mr. Holga.

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About M. C. Roman

M. C. Roman, owner and managing editor of Dallas Art News, is a painter, printmaker and photographer. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. M. C.'s art can be viewed at michaelroman.com. Social media friends can find M. C. on Facebook at facebook.com/mcroman.

One response to “Preview of The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece at the Dallas Museum of Art”

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for the quick overview. I am so glad this exhibition is travelling around the U.S. Americans would have a much better understanding of their own culture and its place in the world if they saw more of the birth place of Western civilization, Greece.
    Cheers,