The Imaginary Museum of Plaster Casts
Throughout Europe, one can see the scattered remains of a once prominent aspect of European culture: collections of plaster casts of ancient (especially Greek and Roman) sculptures. Omnipresent in the nineteenth century, modernism relegated them to the status of an embarrassment, something utterly old-fashioned, inartistic and alien to living art. In the Golden Age of cast collections, they played two essential functions: on the one hand, in the museum contexts, they provided the “general public” with an overview of the history of sculpture that no collection of originals could offer; on the other, in the context of art academies, they provided students with materials to copy and, ultimately, emulate. Both of these overlapping functions came under pressure in the decades around 1900.
Eric Bell & Kristoffer Frick
Simon Martin & Ed Atkins
The Imaginary Museum
14 July 2012 – 9 September 2012
Moving image and photography are joined by a collection of plaster casts from archaic statues
Supported by Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke, München