Arms and Armor of Ancient Greece
From 01/19/2017 to 02/25/2017 From 10/20/2016 to 12/24/2016 From 09/15/2016 to 10/15/2016 From 06/09/2016 to 07/30/2016 From 04/07/2016 to 05/28/2016 From 10/29/2015 to 12/05/2015 On view in our Chelsea gallery from October 29 through December 5 From 09/17/2015 to 10/24/2015 On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from September 17 to October 24
We often think of Ancient Greece as the birthplace of so many things we cherish today as cornerstones of Western identity. Democracy, philosophy, athleticism, theater, sculpture, architecture and literature first come to mind when we think of the Ancient Greeks. Militarism is not immediately associated with them, but it pervaded every aspect of Greek society from the Bronze Age until the rise of Rome. Indeed a great deal of ancient Greek literature and art was devoted to the subject of warfare. This mirrored the reality of their times. As the Greek general and historian Thucydides observed in his day, “Peace is merely a period of armistice in the continuous war.”
Warfare is of course as old as humanity. Technological advances in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt rendered them militarily superior to their neighbors who soon fell under their dominions. As Iron Age metallurgy spread from the Middle East across the Mediterranean and Europe, many societies adapted new military technology that enabled them to challenge the supremacy of the old order. In Greece an arms race ensued whereby competing city-states fielded increasingly well-equipped troops in a continuous series of disputes over land and resources. This relentless fighting between competing city-states led to technological innovations which by the time of the Persian invasions of the early 5th BC demonstrated the unrivaled military dominance that the Greeks had achieved in terms of weapons, armor, strategy and tactics. For hundreds of years the Greek phalanx was superior to all other armies. This tradition was eventually passed on to Alexander the Great and ultimately to the Romans.
The exhibition, ART of WAR, brings together an unprecedented accumulation of weapons and armor from ancient Greece. There are over a dozen bronze helmets, breastplates, and other pieces of armor represented. The helmets, including the iconic Corinthian type, bring one face to face with the imposing visage of the ancient Greek hoplite. A breast plate with extravagantly sculptured musculature illustrates the artistry of the ancient Greek armor smith. Many fine spears and blades convey his prowess. Earlier objects include a Babylonian dagger inscribed with the name of the king Kadashman-Turgu. Objects from Europe include an ancient Celtic iron shield and sword. The Roman Empire is represented by the close combat weapon of the legionary soldier, the iron dagger or pugio.
The exhibition, ART of WAR, is a very rare opportunity to view and acquire a large number of fine quality ancient pieces of unique arms and armor, some of which have not been on the market for decades. These objects are the only remaining physical links to the citizen soldiers or hoplites who created and defended the ancient Greek way of life to which the modern western world is so deeply indebted.
From 01/19/2017 to 02/25/2017
From 10/20/2016 to 12/24/2016
From 09/15/2016 to 10/15/2016
From 06/09/2016 to 07/30/2016
From 04/07/2016 to 05/28/2016
From 10/29/2015 to 12/05/2015
On view in our Chelsea gallery from October 29 through December 5
From 09/17/2015 to 10/24/2015
On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from September 17 to October 24
From 06/04/2015 to 08/01/2015
On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from June 4 to August 1
From 04/16/2015 to 05/30/2015
On view exclusively at our Chelsea gallery from April 16th to May 30.
From 02/01/2015 to 04/11/2015
Our inaugural show in our newly opened Chelsea gallery, on view now through April 11th, explores the widely varied depictions of the human face in ancient art.
From 11/15/2011 to 12/31/2011
From 06/01/2008 to 06/30/2008
Our current exhibition includes a number of rare and unusual examples of ancient arms and armor including, Greek bronze helmets and horse armor, Roman legionary bricks, Celtic swords and spears, as well as a number of ancient projectile points.
From 03/27/2008 to 04/30/2008
A special exhibition examining the iconography of women in ancient art