One of our stops on the KIIS Greece 2011 itinerary is Olympia, the famous sporting venue and a sanctuary of antiquity where “Pindar sang and Phidias taught.” (And where BTW, Kara Renfro of Georgetown Art Department won the famous 2007 race at the last KIIS Olympics) What will be of our particular interest is the Archeological Museum of its site. It houses some of the most precious examples of art and artifacts, such as the pediment remains of the Temple to Zeus, faithfully reconstructed, and Praxiteles’ Hermes, among others. You will have to forgive my pictures below. The subject of West Pediment was oddly taken from the myth of the wedding feast of Peirithoos. Apollo (detached from action as divine presence?) in the middle, Theseus and Peirithoos at his side, fight off the guests-turned-violent Centaurs. I say oddly, as there is no apparent correlation of the myth to the Olympians, other than a suggestion that the Lapithian battle is associated with the Olympic wrestling contests (as in Heinz Schobel in Olympia, 1964) or fight and competitiveness in general. The statue of Hermes is, arguably, one of the premier examples of human form that influenced, in one way or another, almost any type of classical revivalisms from Canova to Gerome. Although I will be teaching in Greece for the fourth year, there is always an opportunity to rediscover and experience its history afresh, as for instance, the new Acropolis Museum.
KIIS Greece 2011 (May 25 - July 1, 2011) is an on-site five weeks of intensive learning about the ancient Greeks whose literature, political ideas, philosophy, art and architecture continue to shape our lives. Students can take up to 6hrs (that's two courses) and most come from the KIIS consortium member schools. If you can't come to the info session today, consult http://kiis.org/go/ for updates or see me during the week.
In case you have seen all of the posters around the building:
KIIS Greece 2011
Friday, November 19th
4:30 - 5:00 pm
WAB Art Building room 104