Sunday, 13 November 2011

Art through the Ages

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As my regulars know I haven't been out and about so much over the last few months due to ill health.  But I'm    now nearly mended and due to return to work this week after a four month break!  The job that I go back to has changed slightly and I'm covering a larger geographical area.  I'm looking forward to sharing the discoveries that I come across on my travels with you including arts and crafts that take my fancy in the galleries and exhibitions en route!

But for now I'm sharing a wonderful virtual discovery.  About a year ago I found  out that the Victoria & Albert Museum in London had a wonderful online catalogue.  I was doing a spot of research yesterday (which I'll share at a later date!) and came across a similar offering from the British Museum.  The 'Explore' section on their website isn't quite as comprehensive but it still contains an impressive 4,000 objects from their collection.

The first piece shown above is the  Lothair Crystal from Lorraine which shows that those that lived in the environs of Modern France were adept at engraving long before Lalique was set up. It's  an amazingly detailed piece of carved rock crystal which dates from the ninth century and shows scenes from the story of Susannah in the Apocrypha. The big crack was caused by some clumsy oaf when it was thrown during the sacking of Waulsorf in the eighteenth century.
And from the same time period we have the Fuller Brooch, a gorgeous piece of hammered silver which is the earliest depiction of the five senses.  Again some klutz has broken it - it's missing its pin.  But it's in such good condition that  it was believed to be a fake and sold to Captain Fuller for the value of its silver!

© Trustees of the British Museum
Moving on in time over a thousand years in fact we have the wonderfully organic Town and Country range of dinnerware by Eva Zeisel, a Hungarian born emigre who lives and worked in the USA.   I've been an admirer of this woman's work for some time now and lust after her 'Fantasy' range of dinnerware which is white, similarly curvy and sports an atomic symbol.  I'm advised by Wiki that this talented craftsperson was born in 1906 and is still alive.
© Trustees of the British Museum

Finally we're bang up to date in the 21st century and onto a piece that has personal poignancy given the amount of medication that I was on a couple of months ago.  'Cradle to Grave' by Pharmacopoeia is a graphic representation of the 14,000 pills, potions and injections  that are, on average, prescribed over a person's lifetime.  There's different strips to reflect the pharmacology given to a woman and a man, tracing 'typical events in their lives.  It's prompted me to put a visit to the museum on my 'To Do' list  just to see how big this exhibit is!

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