Art in Ruins

Karshan Center of Graphic Art
December 12, 2007 through March 23, 2008

Art in Ruins includes 18th and 19th century drawings, watercolors, and prints from the Museum’s permanent collection. Sites illustrated in the exhibition include Pompeii, Monte Alban, Greek Temples, Roman structures, Egyptian pyramids, the Coliseum, and European churches. 

Awe accompanied the discovery of the archeological remains of ancient civilizations. This wonder inspired numerous detailed records of the sites from the villas of Pompeii to the temples of Monte Alban. The French expeditions to Greece and Egypt produced suites of drawings and engravings bound into subscription publications which influenced the Neoclassical movement and the styles of the period.

The Catherwood and Stephens expedition in 1839  to Mayan ruins resulted in an enormous document of pre-Columbian sites. Giovanni Piranesi is probably the best known of the artful “archeologists”. His (and his son Francesco) are duly famous for their renderings of classic sites. 
 
Careful attention to the structural details of ancient architecture is the hallmark of these works.