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Dangerous Beauty
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7:00 PM, at the Rubin Museum of Art,
150 West 17th Street, New York, NY


Beginning in the fifth century B.C., Medusa—the snaky-haired Gorgon whose gaze turned men to stone—became increasingly anthropomorphic and feminine, undergoing a visual transformation from grotesque to beautiful. A similar shift in representations of other mythical female half-human beings—such as sphinxes, sirens, and the sea monster Scylla—took place at the same time. The beautification of these terrifying figures manifested the idealizing humanism of Classical Greek art. Drawn primarily from The Met collection, the exhibition features artworks dating from the late sixth century B.C. to the twentieth century, from ancient Greek and Roman armor, drinking cups, and funerary urns to Neoclassical cameos and contemporary fashion by Versace. Also included in the presentation is the earliest portrayal of the beautiful Medusa in Greek art.

The exhibition, curated by Kiki Karoglou, Associate Curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is on view February 5, 2018 – January 6, 2019 and is accompanied by the Winter 2018 issue of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin.