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Events in Art and Archaeology

Kara Walker
Kara Walker
The Ecstasy of St. Kara: Kara Walker, New Work
CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES  •  Cleveland Museum of Art  •  9 October - 12 December 2016
 

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents The Ecstasy of St. Kara: Kara Walker, New Work, debuting  her latest series of large-scale works on paper. The drawings stem from Walker’s influential time spent in Rome this year, marking an extensive query about the power of myths and themes of martyrdom that dominate and complicate the issue of slavery and free will. Walker’s newest series reflects upon Christianity’s complex history, globally as well as in black life—in her own words, “alternating between captor and redeemer”—rendering it as absolutely current and pressing.

Kara Walker (born 1969) is a highly regarded artist of international prominence. She has received numerous awards throughout her career including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award. Walker’s artwork has been the subject of many exhibitions and is held in the collections of prestigious institutions around the world. Her first public art project, the monumental installation A Subtlety (2014), was commissioned by Creative Time to wide acclaim.



Cleveland Museum of Art Website


Contact: Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio
Tel: (1) 216 421 73 50

Table Fountain, c. 1320–40. France, Paris. Gilt-silver, translucent enamel on basse-taille, and opaque enamel; 31.1 x 24.1 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of J. H. Wade 1924.859.
Table Fountain, c. 1320–40. France, Paris. Gilt-silver, translucent enamel on basse-taille, and opaque enamel; 31.1 x 24.1 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of J. H. Wade 1924.859.
Myth and Mystique: Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain
CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES  •  Cleveland Museum of Art  •  9 October 2016 - 26 February 2017
 

The most complete surviving example of a Gothic table fountain is preserved in the Cleveland Museum of Art. This medieval automaton is datable to about 1320–40 and was likely produced in Paris for a person of high status, perhaps a member of the royal court. The Cleveland fountain is internationally recognized as a unique example of a genre now understood primarily through documentary sources. Such fountains existed in the 14th and 15th centuries in substantial numbers. They assumed various forms but were always made from precious metals and sometimes embellished with colorful enamels or semi-precious stones. Table fountains were probably returned to the goldsmith’s shop for conversion into vessels or coinage once they ceased to function or the fashion had passed, accounting for the scarcity of surviving examples today. 

Impressive in their sheer technical wizardry, these mechanical devices with moving parts that spouted (sometimes perfumed) water are known especially from inventories. Once thought to grace banqueting tables, they were more likely placed on pedestals in strategic locations in palaces, where they were showcased as spectacles of ingenuity by their owners to delight their guests. Such objects did not originate in the European West, but were probably introduced through the Byzantine and Islamic worlds.



Contact: Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio
Tel: (1) 31 0440 73 00



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