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The Ivory Mirror

The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe

June 24, 2017 | Bowdoin College Musuem of Art

Supported by a Maine Humanities Council Major Grant


“Memento Mori Prayer Bead,” 1500-1550, German or Netherlandish. Gift of Linda and David Roth in memory of David P. Becker.

This exhibition constitutes a significant contribution to our understanding of a critical facet of late medieval and early modern culture: the centrality of the macabre. The theme reached the apex of its popularity in the years around 1500, when artists working in a variety of media treated it in innovative and compelling ways. The exhibition will focus in particular on a group of carved ivories, but will also display related works in other media to demonstrate the widespread interest in human mortality.