Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art
February 21, 2019, at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center
Kiki Karoglou, Associate Curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, presented the exhibit she curated, Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art. The exhibit, was on view at The Met until February 24, 2019.
Beginning in the fifth century B.C., Medusa – the serpentine-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. Featuring sixty artworks, primarily from The Met collection, this exhibition explored for the first time how the beautification of these terrifying figures manifested the idealizing humanism of Classical Greek art, and traces their enduring appeal in both Roman and later Western art. The winter 2018 issue of the Met Bulletin was devoted entirely to this exhibit. A reception with Kiki Karoglou followed the program.