Arts Restored ‘Gates of Paradise’ in SEATTLE?
posted by May 1 at 12:10 PMon
So I’m headed to Chicago next week, and I was checking out the Art Institute of Chicago’s web site this morning when I saw this:
In 1425 Lorenzo Ghiberti was commissioned to design a pair of bronze doors for Florence’s Baptistery. He labored on the task for 27 years, fashioning a masterpiece that Michelangelo called “truly worthy to be the Gates of Paradise” for its remarkable beauty and grandeur. For the past 25 years, Ghiberti’s gates have undergone extensive conservation, and they are now nearing completion. To celebrate the conclusion of this arduous project and its stunning results, three relief panels from the left wing of the Gates of Paradise and sections of the door’s frieze will travel to North America. This exhibition will afford viewers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe Ghiberti’s work up close before the individual elements are reintegrated with the rest of the doorframe and put on permanent display in a hermetically sealed room in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence, never to travel again. Other Venues: The exhibition will also travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Seattle Art Museum.
That’s not hyperbole, folks—these gilt panels are founding monuments of the Renaissance, both beloved and important, and this is their first time traveling to the United States since they were made more than 500 years ago.
If they are in fact coming to SAM, it’s a huge deal. (I didn’t even get to see the doors when I was in Florence a few years ago, because they’ve been replaced by replicas and the originals have been taken in for safekeeping.)
It has been repeatedly reported that they’ll come to Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, and then be whisked away back to Florence. But has the West Coast found a way in?
A SAM spokeswoman said nothing is yet firm, and SAM’s web site doesn’t list the show under upcoming exhibitions.
But that’s not a denial, is it?
As for timing, the show just opened in Atlanta Saturday and will spend the summer in Chicago and the fall in New York. After January, maybe we’ll get a glimpse at the gilded bronze panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament.
For now, here’s a CNN story with a good slide show with the curator posted yesterday, timed to the Atlanta opening.
Here’s an image from one of the restored panels:
And here are images of the replicas of the panels that are traveling (top to bottom, Adam and Eve, Rebecca giving birth to Jacob and Esau, and David cutting off Goliath’s head):