“Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur” Ancient Art at the Benton

September 2 – November 20, 2020

“Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur” highlights ancient Mediterranean textiles, stone sculptures, inscriptions, and architectural fragments in the Benton collection and explores the fascination with antiquity from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century.

This exhibition features objects which date from Antiquity to the 20th century and highlights the impact of ancient art through the centuries. It displays for the first time a selection of ancient cloth artifacts from the University of Connecticut Historical Costume and Textile Collection. Ancient textiles are extremely rare to find compared to other antique artifacts, as a result of their fragile nature. Also featured are ancient stone sculptural fragments from architecture and tombstones as well as later (17th century and beyond) two-dimensional depictions of ancient art. This exhibition was guest curated by Marta Tafuri.




“Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur” quote from J. J. Winckelmann, Reflections, first published 1755.

Sculpture, Unknown Italian artist, Hercules Resting (1550-1574), William Benton Museum of Art
Unknown Italian, Sculpture of the Nile, Architectural Fragment, William Benton Museum of Art
Image of Architectural Fragment, Unknown artist, William Benton Museum of Art
Unknown, Architectural Fragments, William Benton Museum of Art