The Graeco-Roman Section

Originally Published in 1913

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The progress made by the Museum in 1913 includes no more important step than the development and scientific treatment of the collections in the Graeco-Roman Section. These collections were augmented by purchases of Roman glass, a Neo-Attic marble relief and a Roman portrait head in marble. Another relief, of Imperial Roman type, purchased in 1908, has been placed on exhibition for the first time. The sculptures acquired at an earlier period, most of which were presented by the late Mrs. Lucy Wharton Drexel, were cleaned, the modern restorations removed and the best pieces exhibited under such favorable conditions as to give each piece as far as possible the effect intended by the sculptor.

Iridescent glass bowl
Fig. 94.—Iridescent glass goblet.
Museum Object Number: MS5257
Image Number: 7748

Progress has also been made in the cleaning and putting in order the Greek vases, from many of which modern restorations have been removed. These restorations have proceeded sometimes from unskillful collectors and sometimes from too skillful dealers. In either case they are obnoxious from an artistic as well as from a scientific point of view, sometimes leading the best informed scholars into error.

A large box of fragments of Attic vases which had been in the storage rooms of the Museum since 1898 were, during the summer of 1913, carefully put together, forming a number of vases of varying degrees of completeness. When it was necessary to restore missing parts of these vases in order to hold the existing parts together such restorations were done in a different colored material and without any attempt at reproducing the surface or the decorations. In this way any one can tell at a glance what parts are original and what are due to the requirements of proper mending.

A special exhibition has been arranged which includes the objects referred to in the preceding paragraphs. Dr. Edith H. Hall, the Assistant Curator of the Graeco-Roman Section, describes in this number of the JOURNAL some of the principal features of the exhibition, as well as one statue (Fig. 139) not included in the exhibits of the section as now arranged. The Neo-Attic relief and the portrait head have been purchased so recently that they were not received in time to be described in this number of the JOURNAL.

Cite This Article

"The Graeco-Roman Section." The Museum Journal IV, no. 4 (December, 1913): 117-118. Accessed February 21, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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