Explore the artistry of Ancient Rome at the Columbus Museum of Art

Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.
  • Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.
    Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.
    Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.
    Photographs c Israel Antiquities Authority.

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2012

Media Contact:
Nancy Colvin, 614.629.0303
                     nancy.colvin@cmaohio.org

Explore the artistry of Ancient Rome at the Columbus Museum of Art

(Columbus, OH) – Explore the fascinating artistry of ancient Rome at the Columbus Museum of Art. Marvelous Menagerie: An Ancient Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel is on view May 18, 2012 – January 13, 2013. Nearly 300-square feet large and more than 1700 years old, this stunning mosaic is one the best-preserved in the world and exemplifies the artistic excellence of the Roman Empire. The Lod Mosaic is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center.

Discovered in 1996 in Lod, Israel, the Lod Mosaic is unique with its depiction of fish, birds, beasts and ancient sailing ships. Scholars believe the mosaic decorated the floor of a large assembly room in a well-appointed private villa. The centerpiece of the mosaic is a large square medallion that features a scene of exotic, African animals. Two rectangular end panels flank the square. In one of these, scenes of various animals attacking their prey are interspersed with calmer scenes of fish and birds. The remaining panel portrays a fabulous marine scene filled with a profusion of fish and Roman merchant ships.

“What is so amazing about the Lod mosaic is its exceptional quality and excellent state of preservation,” said Carole M. Genshaft, CMA’s curator for the exhibition. “Like a time capsule that has been unopened for 1,700 years, it provides a glimpse into the life of a Roman citizen in the Near East in late antiquity. The painstaking process that defines a mosaic- that it is made from tens of thousands of tiny pieces of cut stone- is also amazing and very much a part of its appeal.  Equally important is the  Israel Antiquities Authority’s effort to carefully conserve the mosaic using today’s most advanced archaeological processes and techniques and to arrange this most remarkable US and European tour. “

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for Columbus and CMA,” said CMA Executive Director, Nannette V. Maciejunes. “We’re incredibly honored to be in the company of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Field Museum as one of only five museums in the United States to exhibit this amazing piece of history.”

Following its tour of the U.S., the mosaic will travel to the Louvre in Paris and the Altes Museum in Berlin before returning to its original site in Israel where the new Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center is being established.

Ohio Magazine is the Media Sponsor for Marvelous Menagerie. Support for programs related to Marvelous Menagerie: An Ancient Mosaic from Lod, Israel provided by Columbus Jewish Foundation.

The Columbus Museum of Art creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Charlotte R. Haller, Lewis K. Osborne, and Robert B. Hurst funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and until 8:30 pm every Thursday. The Palette Express is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Saturday through Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.  For additional information, call 614.221.4848 or visit www.columbusmuseum.org.

 

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