Scholarly curator: Prof. Dr. Joachim Latacz, Basel, Switzerland
The Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, Switzerland (Basel Museum of Ancient Art and Ludwig Collection), the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany, and the Art Centre Basel, Switzerland, are jointly creating an exhibition which will focus for the first time on the myths and facts about the Greek poet-singer Homer and his two epics, the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”, together with high-calibre works of art from the Bronze Age until today.
The major exhibition on Troy in Europe in 2001/2002 (‘Troy – Dream and Reality’) which attracted about 850,000 visitors and was widely hailed in the media, reawakened public interest in the poet who captivated his audiences with the story of Troy: Homer. With his epics “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”, which is credited to him, this Greek poet-singer of the 8th century BC marked the beginning of Western literature. For this reason, Homer is considered to be one of the founding fathers of European culture.
The growing interest in cultural roots due to an increasingly multicultural environment has led in recent years to an overwhelming production of books, films, stage performances and radio/television reports on the topic of Homer. Separating fact and fiction, reality and legend, when it comes to Homer, has become difficult.
The exhibition aims to bring clarity to the subject. Drawing on the latest results in Homer research, this exhibition will present, for the first time, in six sections: (1) Homer in his time; (2) Homer’s works as the culmination of a long tradition of oral poetry; (3) the great epics “Iliad” and “Odyssey” and (4, 5, 6) the popularity of these works over the centuries. Through a combination of didactic elements and superb original works of art from antiquity, through the ages up to the present day, this comprehensive exhibition will be able to provide powerful insights into Homer, which, in their combination of intellectual and aesthetic persuasiveness, may serve as a firm foundation for further encounters with this great poet.
The exhibition will be structured in a multi-facetted and didactically informative manner by displaying high-ranking antique works of art (from the late Bronze Age to the time of Homer as well as from later eras), but also by later examples of reception (paintings, drawings, etc.) from the Renaissance to the 20th century, together with explanatory plates, audio examples and text excerpts (in Greek and the respective local language).
Please kindly note that as per June 2008, all inquiries related to this exhibition should be directed to one of the host museums. Please contact either Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, or Reiss-Engelhorn Museen Mannheim. Thank you.