Friday, March 16, 2012

Exhibition: At OI, questioning images we make of ancient times

Chicago Tribune (Steve Johnson)

Inevitable Indiana Jones reference included :-)

A new exhibit at the Oriental Institute Museum asks visitors to think twice about the images they see of ancient worlds. A painting or a model may look authoritative, but before you accept it as truth, ask yourself what assumptions the artist or archaeologist is making to complete the image, what gaps might he or she be filling in?

And then, bigger picture, consider how much of what we think we know about earlier times might be based on images that blend the factual and the fanciful.

"Picturing the Past: Imaging and Imagining the Ancient Middle East" is up at the University of Chicago's splendid temple to Middle Eastern research and culture through Sept. 2, and it is a compact, well-edited and intellectually engaging show.

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