"Devotion and Decadence" in The New York Times!

By Maggie Pavao

In order to promote art exhibitions, that "provide a respite from carols and crowds," The New York Times published the article "10 Under-the-Radar Art Shows to See Now." The list included ISAW's very own Devotion and Decadence alongside shows at the Morgan Library, the Frick, and the Cooper Hewitt. 

Arts writer Jillian Steinhauer highlights Devotion and Decadence's emblematic object, the Roman silver statuette of Mercury, "which, at nearly two feet tall, is one of the largest such pieces to survive from antiquity... Bright and gleaming in a climate-controlled vitrine after a yearslong conservation at the Getty, naked except for his emblematic staff entwined with snakes, the figure bears a curious resemblance to Michelangelo’s “David”: His tousled head is slightly oversize, and his muscular frame stands in a subtle contrapposto. But while he cuts an elegant silhouette and is an astonishing example of metalwork, what’s really remarkable about him is how ordinary he looks: Along with erotically themed drinking bowls, hammered platters decorated with elaborate mythical scenes, and a pile of broken-off silver cup handles, the statuette evokes a lost world of luxury in which even provincial households were well stocked with extravagant objets d’art."

Read the full review here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/22/arts/design/art-shows-in-new-york.html 


Statuette of Mercury
Roman, 175–225 CE
Findspot: Berthouville, France
Silver and gold
H. 56.3 cm; Diam. 16 cm
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris: Inv. 56.1
Photo: Tahnee Cracchiola © Getty-BnF