Mary Beard Discusses "Restoring the Minoans" in The Times Literary Supplement

By Maggie Pavao

In The Times Literary Supplement, Mary Beard, speaker at our recent Eleventh Annual Leon Levy Lecture, discussed the history of our exhibition Restoring the Minoans: Elizabeth Price and Sir Arthur Evans in a post on her blog "A Don's Life." Beard talks about how Sir Arthur Evans' project at Knossos, executed with "reconstructive zeal," bears little resemblance to the original. She says, "However fanciful Evans’s concrete version of prehistory is — it has at least recreated one powerful vision for us of a distant Minoan world. And the early twentieth-century Vogue feel of the reconstructed paintings — wrong as they are — has given us an extraordinary artistic style in its own right, asking questions about how we can accommodate the art of the distant past, even if it has not much to do with the Minoans."

The exhibition showcases Evans' reconstructions and Minoan material alongside the film A RESTORATION by Turner-prize winning artist Elizabeth Price, who was inspired by the Evans experience.

Read the full blog post by Mard Beard here

Image: Émile Gilliéron père or fils
Acrobats Leaping over a Bull
Watercolor on paper
H. 87.6 cm; W. 158.8 cm
After a fresco from the Court of the Stone Spout, Knossos
20th century, before 1914
Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum, gift of Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer: 1926.32.50
Image (c) Institute for the Study of the Ancient World / Steve Gyurina, photographer