From Nineveh to New York: The Strange Story of th

By: JOHN MALCOLM RUSSELL

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The story of Sir Austen Henry Layard's rediscovery of ancient Assyria and its fabled capital, Nineveh, is one of the great tales of the 19th century. No less remarkable is the story of the collection, dispersal and then re-acquisition in the 20th century of the world's greatest Assyrian collection ever to be in private hands. In this history of the reception of ancient Assyrian art in England and subsequently in America, John Malcolm Russell recounts that story of the huge collection of artefacts that Layard brought back to England. Much went to the British Museum, but much also to the Lady Charlotte Guest and then, via a Manhattan dealer and numerous competitive curators and millionaires, to the Metropolitan Museum. The last of Layard's Assyrian sculptures, discovered by the author in a private British school, was sold for #7.7 million at auction in 1994 - a figure that tripled that highest price ever paid for a work of antiquity. This book is based almost entirely on unpublished archives, including the 10,000-page diary of Lady Charlotte Guest, the cousin of Layard and the richest woman in England. At her country house, Canford Manor, Guest commissioned from Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, the "Nineveh Porch" to display the sculptures. This established a whole new decorative and architectural fashion for "Assyrian Revival." Russell explores the events that led to the creation of the Porch, casting light on the archaeological, cultural and architectural politics of the day. The dispersal of the collection after World War I and the initial reluctance of any American museum to acquire the sculptures, forms another story - illuminated by the schemes of the dealer Kelekian to sell them to John D. Rockefeller Jr and others. Assyria's admission to the family of world art, and ethical questions surrounding the appropriation of antiquities, form another strand of the tale, culminating in Saddam Hussein's attempted intervention at the Christie's sale in 1994. With previously unpublished photographs, illustrations from 19th century sources and extensive passage from Guest's diary, this book provides a look into the history and meaning of Assyrian art of 19th and 20th century taste, dealing and collecting.

Title: From Nineveh to New York: The Strange Story of th

Author Name: JOHN MALCOLM RUSSELL

Categories: Art Era ANCIENT,

Publisher: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS:

ISBN Number: 0300064594

ISBN Number 13: 9780300064599

Binding: HARDCOVER W/JACKET

Book Condition: VERY GOOD CONDITION

Seller ID: IM496972

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