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January 8, 2007

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery Presents Two Exhibitions:
Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project
and
Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100

January 29 - March 24, 2007

Contact: Thomas Moore
Director of Arts & Culture
410-455-3370
tmoore@umbc.edu

Note: You may view or download this release as a pdf file.

Opening on January 29th and continuing through March 24th, UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents two exhibitions: Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project and Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100.

Significantly damaged by air pollution, earthquakes, wars, erosion and the rusting of iron used in previous restorations, most of the Acropolis monuments have been partially or entirely disassembled and subsequently reconstructed in an effort to preserve their architectural integrity. The Acropolis exhibition, featuring the photography of Socratis Mavrommatis, details these ongoing restorations carried out by the Acropolis Restoration Service since 1975. It was the role of Mavrommatis, chief photographer of the project for more than 25 years, to capture on film the incomparable beauty of the monuments, and, at the same time, the difficulty of working on large pieces of marble of artistic and historical importance.

Photographs of the Acropolis have usually been directed at an idealistic rendering and dramatization of the subject, romantically emphasizing the beauty of their abandoned state and damaged condition. The photographs of the restoration work carried out on the monuments, by contrast, show them as they are, as true to reality as possible. The exhibition images, photographically printed in black and white on large panels that also contain descriptive text, are chronologically arranged and depict four key areas of the restoration effort: the rationale for preservation, the preparation for intervention, the main restoration work in process, and images of the monuments themselves. The photographs include large panoramic shots of the buildings, sometimes encased in scaffolding; close-ups of architectural features such as columns, cornices and friezes; documentation of damage by pollution, explosions and other factors; and the disassembly and reconstruction of some of the monuments.

Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project was produced by the Acropolis Restoration Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. The exhibition opened in Athens at the renowned Benaki Museum in 2002, and has traveled to Brussels, Paris, Rome and London. The North American tour is organized by the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery, Fairfield University. The presentation at UMBC is co-organized by Richard Mason, associate professor of Ancient Studies, and the Library Gallery.

Public Program
On February 14th from 4 to 5 pm, the Gallery will present Katherine A. Schwab, associate professor of art history at Fairfield University, who will speak on The Parthenon East Metopes: Technologies of the 21st Century and New Discoveries. This lecture will be held in the Gallery; admission is free.

The Glory of Ruins
Concurrently showing with Photographs from the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project is The Glory of Ruins, on display in the nearby Library Rotunda and curated by a group of eight UMBC students taking part in an Ancient Studies/Honors College internship. This exhibition displays nineteenth and twentieth century photographs depicting classical Athens and Attica, all from the Special Collections of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery.

Portrait photograph of Samuel Beckett by Jane Brown. Gelatin silver print ©2007 Jane Brown, all rights reserved. Used with permission.Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100
The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery celebrates the centenary of Samuel Beckett, one of the leading writers and dramatists of the twentieth century, with the exhibition Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100. The Irish-born author, whose stirring texts in French and English were recognized by the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969, is considered by some the best writer of English since Shakespeare and the greatest French playwright since Molière. Curated by Angela Moorjani in association with the Library Gallery, the show will present Beckett’s words and images as filtered through the imaginative work of a number of visual and stage artists. On view will be select photographs, etchings, artists’ books, and rare editions of Beckett’s works.

Public Program for Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100
On Thursday, February 8th, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm, a program will feature three of UMBC’s resident Beckett scholars—Xerxes Mehta, Angela Moorjani and Wendy Salkind—in readings, performances and discussions related to the works on display. The program will be held in the Library Gallery, free admission, with a reception to follow.

Gallery Information
The Albin O. Kuhn Gallery serves as one of the principal art galleries in the Baltimore region. Objects from the Special Collections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over the world, are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for the University community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitions are occasionally presented, and the Gallery sends some exhibits on tour to other institutions nationwide. Admission to the Gallery and its programs is free.

Acknowledgements
Reflections from the Heart: Photographs by David Seymour is organized by the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore County in collaboration with The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the George Eastman House. The exhibition is made possible by generous support from Ben Shneiderman.

Additional support is provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences, the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Endowment, the Judaic Studies Program at UMBC, and Epson USA Inc.

The presentation of both exhibitions is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for Photographs from the Athenian Acropolis: The Restoration Project comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery and the Department of Ancient Studies. Additional support for Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100 comes from UMBC’s Office of the President, Office of the Provost, the Departments of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Theatre, and English, and the Humanities Forum. The reception is sponsored by the Friends of the Library & Gallery and the Libby Kuhn Endowment.

Hours
Sunday 1 P.M. – 5 P.M.
Monday 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Wednesday 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Thursday 12 P.M. – 8 P.M.
Friday 12 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Saturday 1 P.M. – 5 P.M.

Telephone
UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): 410-455-ARTS
General Gallery information: 410-455-2270

Web
UMBC Arts & Culture Calendar: http://www.umbc.edu/arts
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery: http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/gallery/
UMBC News Releases: http://www.umbc.edu/news

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online:
http://www.umbc.edu/newsevents/arts/hi-res/
or by email or postal mail.

Directions
UMBC is located approximately 10 minutes from downtown Baltimore and 20 minutes from I-495.
• From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 to exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mile to the entrance of UMBC at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue and Hilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Walker Avenue Garage or Albin O. Kuhn Library.
• Daytime metered visitor parking is available in the Walker Avenue Garage. Visitor parking regulations are enforced on all University calendar days.

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Posted by tmoore at January 8, 2007 2:31 PM