Athens-Sparta Exhibit review


Pat Wictor, Shawn Budde and I went to the Athens-Sparta exhibt at the Onassis Cultural Center in NY, yesterday, Friday, February 16.


We were all amazed by the quality of this small exhibit – there were a number of items that have either never left Greece or are simply famous pieces from Athens *and* Sparta. The surprise – and hook – of the show is the focus on Spartan art in the period before 550-500 BC (when art production seemed to stop in Sparta).

We were lucky in our timing because we were able to tag along on a tour given by classics doctoral student at Columbia – Todd Alexander Davis. Todd was great and deserves special thanks for allowing us to listen in on his *very* good lecture. Visit his student page at Columbia and send him a note of thanks.

Some of the best pieces include the famous statue of a hoplite warrior – photo above courtesy of the Onassis Cultural Center website – that is popularly believed to be Leonidas, the Spartan King who led the 300 Spartan warriors in the battle at Thermopylae. [1]

The show is on until May 16, 2007 – and is a must see if you can get to NY before it closes.


1 – Note that most experts – including Paul Cartledge – now believe that the statue is not of Leonidas but of a regular hoplite soldier. Nonetheless, it is still a famous statue. Todd said that there were even demonstrations by the local Spartan population trying to prevent it leaving Sparta to come to this exhibit.

18. February 2007 by Arrian
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Comments Off on Athens-Sparta Exhibit review