The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe
This exhibition constitutes a significant contribution to our understanding of a critical facet of late medieval and early modern culture: the centrality of the macabre.
This exhibition will constitute a significant contribution to our understanding of a critical facet of late medieval and early modern culture: the centrality of the macabre. The theme reached the apex of its popularity in the years around 1500, when artists working in a variety of media treated it in innovative and compelling ways. The exhibition will focus in particular on a group of carved ivories, but will also display related works in other media to demonstrate the widespread interest in human mortality.
This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue would not be possible without numerous generous funders to whom we express our deep appreciation. We are deeply grateful to the Stevens L. Frost Endowment Fund, Linda Horvitz Roth ’76, P’13, the Becker Fund for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, The Devonwood Foundation, Caroline and Edward Hyman P’10, the Class of 1976 Art Conservation Fund, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Shapell Family Art Fund, the Sylvia E. Ross Fund, Robert Judd and Cristle Collins Judd, The Robert Lehman Foundation, the Lowell Innes Fund, John and Mary McGuigan, Thomas ’06 and Hannah McKinley ’08, Svetlana and Eric Silverman ’85, P’19, the Peter M. Small Professorship Fund, the Friends Fund of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Maine Humanities Council, Sir Paul and Jill Shaw Ruddock ’77, the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, and Coco Kim and Richard Schetman P’13.
"Memento Mori Prayer Bead," 1500-1550, German or Netherlandish. Gift of Linda and David Roth in memory of David P. Becker.
Albrecht Dürer, German," St. Jerome in his Study," 1514, engraving. Bequest of David P. Becker, Class of 1970. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Lucas van Leyden, Netherlandish, "Young Man with a Skull," ca. 1519, engraving. Gift of Charles Pendexter.
Master S (Alexander van Brugsal?), Netherlandish, "Memento Mori," ca. 1520, engraving, with contemporary hand coloring. Gift of Linda and David Roth in memory of David P. Becker and Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund.
Hans Holbein the Younger, "Death and the Rich Man," ca. 1526, woodcut. Bequest of David P. Becker, Class of 1970. Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
June 24, 2017 - November 26, 2017