This week PBS aired a new episode of their television program Secrets of the Dead in which producer Steve Talley explores the life-sized terracotta warriors of China:
This clay army of 8,000 including infantry, archers, generals and cavalry was discovered by archaeologists in 1974 after farmers digging a well near the Chinese city of Xian unearthed pieces of clay sculpted in human form.
An amazing archaeological find, the terracotta warriors date back more than two thousand years. But what was the purpose of this army of clay soldiers? Who ordered its construction? How were they created? Secrets of the Dead investigates the story behind China’s Terracotta Warriors and documents their return to former glory for the first time.
The episode is now available online.
Jason DeCaires Taylor creates environmental artwork by dropping cement casts of real people onto the ocean floor — creating artificial reefs that help restore coral ecosystems. His latest project, completed this month, is a massive collection of 400 sculptures off the coast of Cancun.
The sculptures will continue to evolve as sea creatures and plants colonize them. Video of the Cancun installation and photographs of previous transformations in Grenada are available on Science Friday’s blog Science & the Arts.
Art labeled “degenerate” and thought destroyed during the Nazi regime was recently rediscovered during construction activity in Berlin.
In digs carried out throughout this year, archeologists have unearthed 11 sculptures thought to have been lost forever — valuable works of art that disappeared during World War II after having been included on the Nazis’ list of degenerate art. Most of them have now been identified and have been put on display in Berlin’s Neues Museum.
Via Spiegel Online.
From the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library:
Sometimes hidden treasure turns up in unexpected places – such as your own front door, or the public library of a small town in Kentucky. The Paris-Bourbon County Public Library is proud to announce the discovery – right on its own doorstep – of a “lost” fine art work entitled The Bride of Spring, a sculpture created by Edmonia Lewis in the late 1870s.
For more than 30 years, visitors to the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library in Paris, Kentucky, routinely passed through a small, bright entry foyer – rarely giving a thought to the graceful white statue tucked into a corner by the door. Dressed in flowing veils decorated with floral garlands, this “pretty lady” guarded the library entrance in relative obscurity, drawing occasional glances of admiration and sometimes serving as a prop for seasonal decorations or children’s games.
In late 2006, Estill Curtis Pennington, an internationally-known fine arts historian and consultant, returned to Bourbon County from abroad and visited the library. Though he had passed by the statue many times in the past, something on this visit piqued Pennington’s curiosity and he decided to make a closer inspection; an inscription on its base led to positive identification. The Bride of Spring – also known as The Veiled Bride of Spring – is of carved marble, and stands 48” tall including the attached platform base. It is in overall good condition and is now protected by a custom-made glass display box.
ARTstor and the University of Michigan will digitize slides from the archive associated with Asian Art Photographic Distribution, which focuses on the art of East Asia. Areas strongly represented in the archive include Chinese painting, sculpture, bronzes and ceramics, Central Asian Art, and Japanese painting. Many of the objects represented in the archive are richly documented with details.
ARTstor has just added 301 images of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman sculptures from the Collection of Classical Antiquities at the Berlin State Museums.