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Gifts Enhance Metropolitan Museum Activities in Cycladic and Early Greek Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the gift to its Greek and Roman Art Department of an endowment fund from The Museum of Cycladic Art, in Athens, Greece. The gift, in memory of Dolly Goulandris, will support lectures about the ancient art of the Cyclades and other regions of the ancient Greek world. Also announced was the intended gift by Pat Getz-Gentle of a photograph archive of Cycladic art.

“The Museum is very pleased to announce these gifts from our generous colleagues and friends,” noted Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. “Through their support and vision, the scholarly activities of the Department of Greek and Roman Art have been greatly enhanced, transforming it into a major center for the study of early Cycladic sculpture.”

An endowment fund has been established for “Lectures in Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art,” a permanent series of lectures, symposia, and other similar presentations at the Metropolitan. Funded by The Museum of Cycladic Art, the programs—which will begin in 2011—are intended to make the ancient art and culture of the Cyclades and later Greece more familiar to a broad audience.

The Department’s important collection of Cycladic art and resources for its study will be further strengthened by the intended gift from Pat Getz-Gentle, one of the foremost specialists in the field of Cycladic art, of her photo archive. Assembled for her own scholarly investigations since the early 1960s, the archive documents more than 2,000 Cycladic marble figures and stone vases. It will join other specialized archives (including personal papers of the distinguished curator and former head of the Greek and Roman Art Department Gisela M. A. Richter and the archives of the art dealers Dikran Kelekian and Piero Tozzi) that have been presented to the department since 2000. Dr. Getz-Gentle will prepare the photograph archive, which has served as a personal working tool, for use as a resource for research. The archive will be accessible in the department’s Onassis Library for Hellenic and Roman Art by appointment.

The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of the Greek mainland, where an important Neolithic and early Bronze Age culture flourished from before 5000 B.C. until about 2000 B.C.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Greek and Roman Art was established in 1909. Since the completion in spring 2007 of a comprehensive, 15-year project to redesign and reinstall all the galleries for Greek and Roman art, more than 6,000 works from the department’s exceptional collection have been on view. The department’s holdings include outstanding examples of art from around 6000 B.C. to the time of the emperor Constantine I (reigned A.D. 307–337). Cycladic art is displayed in the Museum’s Robert and Renée Belfer Court for Prehistoric and Early Greek Art.

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