Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project

  January 29 - March 23, 2007

Public Programs

4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Exhibition Talk: Katherine A. Schwab, Associate Professor of Art History at Fairfield University

Katherine A. Schwab, Associate Professor of Art History at Fairfield University, Connecticut, will speak on, 'The Parthenon East Metopes: Technologies of the 21st Century and New Discoveries.'

Sponsored by the Humanities Forum with a reception to follow.

The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project, featuring photography by Socratis Mavrommatis, the chief photographer of the Acropolis Restoration Service. The exhibition is a remarkable collection of photographs documenting the interventions and transformations of Acropolis monuments since 1975.

Photographs of the Acropolis have usually been directed at an idealistic rendering and dramatization of the subject, romantically emphasizing the beauty of their abandoned state and damaged condition. The photographs of the restoration work carried out on the monuments, by contrast, show them as they are, as true to reality as possible. The exhibition images, photographically printed in black and white on large panels that also contain descriptive text, are chronologically arranged and depict four key areas of the restoration effort: the rationale for preservation, the preparation for intervention, the main restoration work in process, and images of the monuments themselves. The photographs include large panoramic shots of the buildings, sometimes encased in scaffolding; close-ups of architectural features such as columns, cornices and friezes; documentation of damage by pollution, explosions and other factors; and the disassembly and reconstruction of some of the monuments.

The exhibition opened in Athens at the renowned Benaki Museum in October 2002, and has since traveled to Thessaloniki, Brussels, Paris, Rome and London. The North American tour is organized by the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Fairfield University. The presentation at UMBC is being co-organized with Professor Richard Mason, Department of Ancient Studies.