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New Greek, Roman, And Byzantine Art Galleries Open Tomorrow At The Art Institute

By Amy Cavanaugh in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 10, 2012 8:00PM

Cameo Portraying Emperor Claudius as the God Jupiter (detail). Cameo: Roman, c. 41-54 a.d., Frame: Italian, late 16th century. Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf. Photo by Erika Dufour.

The Art Institute has been renovating some of its galleries to make the spaces match the world class art housed inside. The African Art and Indian Art of the Americas galleries opened last summer, and tomorrow is the opening of the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art.

The galleries open with a special installation, Of Gods and Glamour, which consists of 550 items (including 150 loans from around the world) that help illustrate the development of Western art from the third millennium B.C. to the Byzantine Empire. There are life-size marble sculptures, Greek pottery, shiny jewelry, and tableware. The galleries, located in McKinlock Court, will also feature 51 items on loan from the British Museum. Many of the items, which include carved ivory and gem jewelry, have never been to the United States and will be on view until August 25, 2013.

The Art Institute posted photos of the restoration process required to get some of the works of art ready to display. There is a gallery that details the conversation process in the Jaharis galleries, as well as 16 interactive multimedia kiosks that provide context and history for the ancient artworks.