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The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Bowdoin College Museum of Art
9400 College Station
Brunswick, Maine 04011
United States

The public opening is on Saturday, June 24, with a keynote lecture by Stephen Perkinson at 4:00 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center followed by a reception at the Museum of Art.

This exhibition represents a significant contribution to our understanding of the rich visual culture of mortality in Renaissance Europe. The appeal of the “memento mori,” featuring macabre imagery urging us to “remember death,” reached the apex of its popularity around 1500, when artists treated the theme in innovative and compelling ways. Exquisite artworks—from ivory prayer beads to gem-encrusted jewelry—evoke life’s preciousness and the tension between pleasure and responsibility, then and now. 

Featuring nearly 70 objects, this exhibition incorporates rarely-seen loans from major North American and European museums and works from Bowdoin’s own collection revealing new insights into the understanding of mortality and morality in Renaissance  Europe.

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