Yesterday was a gorgeous day – blue skies, sunshine, perfect temperatures – and I was fortunate enough to have a bit of free time right in the middle of it. As incongruous as it might sound, I decided to spend part of this picture-perfect summer day at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, checking out an exhibit that’s all about death. It’s called The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe, and as you might have guessed, it’s pretty intense.
The two rooms devoted to The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe are filled with all kinds of different works (engravings, prints, books, sculptures, jewelry, and paintings) on loan from a wide variety of collections (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Art Museums, to name a few). Yes, the subject matter seems dark (especially on a sunny day in late July), and yes, some of it is downright creepy, but if you go to this show, I’m sure you will find yourself staring in wonder at the intricate details and marveling at the beauty in so many of these pieces. Luckily, there are oversized magnifying glasses on hand in case you want to take a closer look at anything!
The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe runs through the end of November, and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is always free and open to the public.