Travel To The Past: The Benton’s ancient art exhibition

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The Ancient Art exhibition at the William Benton Museum of Art is a permanent collection. Objects dating from Antiquity to the 20th century are highlighted in the exhibit. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus.

Since The William Benton Museum of Art’s reopening, it has welcomed a few new exhibits. Among these is the “Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur” exhibit located in the Center Gallery. Available from now until Oct. 17, the exhibition highlights artwork from Mediterranean history and the Middle Ages. 

The museum exhibit holds a wide variety of artwork including, but not limited to, paintings, sculptures and textiles. Upon entering the Center Gallery you notice the title, “‘Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur’ Ancient Art at the Benton.” According to the caption for this exhibit, the quote refers to Winckelmann’s description of Ancient Greek art. The caption says the exhibition shows art from the time of antiquity to the 20th century. 

Under the title of the exhibit, there is a large painting depicting people in a garden. According to the caption, the painting was made in Italy but inspired by Greece. The painting pictured a few people walking near a lake surrounded by a body of water and trees. In the middle of the painting you can see a piece of Greece-inspired architecture. 

The Ancient Art exhibition at the William Benton Museum of Art is a permanent collection. Objects dating from Antiquity to the 20th century are highlighted in the exhibit. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus.

“This one has to be one of my favorites,” said Brad Sweigart, a fifth-semester graphic design student at the UConn School of Fine Arts and art gallery attendant at The Benton. “Just the old age, the old-time of Italy, and just for someone to see that image and paint what they remember is really fascinating. I like the colors he used and I think the water is rendered really well. The leaves and branches too, it’s really realistic looking. It’s a lot brighter in the center and darker on the edges, it’s like a filter effect on Instagram.” 

The left side of the exhibit shows illustrations and sculptures of the middle ages and Greek history. Toward the back of the exhibit, you can see a line of stones that had been formerly used in ancient Mediterranean architecture. 

On the right side of the exhibit, you can see textiles from the Middle East along with more illustrations and sculptures from the Middle Ages. One sculpture stood out, as it pictured a man with angel wings made out of terracotta clay framed like a painting. 

“I like this piece,” said Lily George, a fifth-semester illustration and animation student at the UConn School of Fine Arts and art gallery attendant at the Benton. “It’s a sculpture, but it’s framed as a painting. I love the texture and carving styles and the way the body is coming out of the frame. The way the light, shapes and shadows hit the piece gives it a more three-dimensional shape and helps form the figure itself in the sculpture.” 

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