The first exhibition in the US to focus on the history of relics and reliquaries—the special containers, often in gold or silver and embellished with precious gems, created to display the remains of Christian saints and martyrs. Evolving from simple containers, reliquaries became cutting-edge works of art that combined innovative techniques with beautiful design. The exhibit includes over a hundred metal objects, sculptures, paintings and illuminated manuscripts from Late Antiquity through the Reformation and beyond. In addition to the three organizing museums (the Cleveland Museum of Art and the British Museum in addition to the Walters), the works are drawn from church treasuries and public and private collections including those of the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Vatican.
The exhibit is a wonderful reason to visit this marvelous museum whose collections include Egyptian mummies; Greek, Roman and Byzantine art; illuminated manuscripts; Renaissance armor; Fabergé eggs; Art Nouveau jewelry and works representing every major trend in 19th-century French painting.
Feb 13-May 15, 2011
The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, (410) 547-9000, website
Hours: Wed-Sun 10 am–5 pm
Adults $8, seniors $6, ages 18-25 $4, under 18, members free
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