Bowdoin College Museum of Art
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Bowdoin College Museum of Art
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Exhibitions
"Psyche Carried to the Mountain," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Antheneum.
Weaving the Myth of Psyche: Baroque Tapestries from the Wadsworth Atheneum
September 27, 2014 - March 8, 2015
Boyd Gallery

A cycle of five precious tapestries illustrates the story of the princess Psyche who was taken as a bride by the god Cupid, according to the second century Latin novel The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Made of wool, silk, and gilded-silver, the tapestries were based on fifteenth-century engravings and were part of a series produced by an unknown manufactory in Paris in the 1660s, during the reign of Louis XIV. This is an extremely rare opportunity to see an important group of Baroque tapestries in northern New England.

This exhibition is supported by the Robert Lehman Foundation.

PROGRAMMING

Winter 2015

February 7, 2015 | 10:30 a.m. | BCMA
Music at the Museum: Rebel Baroque Ensemble
Rebel, a Baroque ensemble with Jörg-Michael Schwarz and Karen Marmer, violins, John Moran, cello, and Dongsok Chin, harpsichord will perform seventeenth-century French works to complement the exhibition Weaving the Myth of Psyche: Baroque Tapestries from the Wadsworth Atheneum. Free tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets available at the Museum Shop beginning January 13, 2015.

February 11, 2015 | 12:00 noon | BCMA
Gallery Conversation: “Le dernier cri: Cupid and Psyche in Paris”
Abby Zanger, visiting associate professor of romance languages, in conversation with Joachim Homann, curator, discussing the role of mythology in French seventeenth-century literature and visual culture, suggesting interpretations of the Cupid and Psyche tapestries within the context of their origin in 1660s Paris.

February 19, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | BCMA
Thursday Night Salon.  “Translating Cupid and Psyche: Apuleius’s Absurdity”
Sarah Ruden’s translation from Latin of Apuleius’s novel The Golden Ass has been praised as “no less inventive, varied, and surprising than the original.” She will discuss the story of Cupid and Psyche, as told in Apuleius’s second-century novel. Ruden is a visiting scholar at Brown University and is currently working on The Music Inside the Whale, and Other Marvels: A Translator on the Beauty of the Bible. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Weaving the Myth of Psyche: Baroque Tapestries from the Wadsworth Atheneum.

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Fall 2014

October 16, 2014 | 4:00 p.m.
Gallery Conversation: “Metamorphosis of a Myth”

Linda Roth, ‘76 and P ‘13, Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts, Wadsworth Atheneum and James Higginbotham, associate professor of classics on the Henry Johnson Professorship Fund, and associate curator for the ancient collection at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art explore the long history and central themes associated with the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The discussion examines the representations of this tale over time.

October 22, 2014 | 4:30 p.m. | Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center
“Pieter Coecke van Aelst and the Art of Designing Tapestries in Early Modern Europe”  Watch a video of the lecture here.
Elizabeth Cleland, associate curator, European sculpture and decorative arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York is the curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s upcoming exhibition Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry. Cleland  will speak about this major figure of the Northern Renaissance who designed tapestries for the royal courts of Europe. The tapestries on view at the Museum of Art are based on drawings by this Flemish master. RSVPs are requested, but not required. You may RSVP here.
"The Old Woman Tells the Story of Psyche," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.
"Psyche Carried to the Mountain," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

"Psyche's Banquet," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.
"Psyche Dressing," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

"Psyche at the Temple of Ceres," ca. 1660. Wool, silk, and gold thread. Courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum.