Theodor Wiegand and Byzantine Art

17.10.2014 to 18.01.2015

The small 'cabinet’ exhibition Theodor Wiegand and Byzantine Art is devoted to a little-known aspect of Wiegand’s biography. Theodor Wiegand - celebrated today as an archaeologist and as the director of the Collection of Classical Antiquities in Berlin and of the German Archaeological Institute - harboured a lifelong interest in Byzantium and played a key role in putting together the Early Christian and Byzantine Collection in Berlin, the forerunner of today’s Museum of Byzantine Art. Wiegand helped the Berlin museum to acquire reliefs, liturgical objects, capitals friezes and small objects not only from the archaeological excavations at Pergamon, Priene, Miletus and Didyma but also from the art trade and from private collections. Thanks to his commitment Berlin now has the largest collection of Byzantine stone sculptures outside the former territory of the Byzantine Empire.

Further to these acquisitions, Wiegand initiated and conducted important research in the field of Byzantine archaeology. He commissioned full-scale copies of the rock paintings decorating the Latmos Mountain cave churches, and it was at his suggestion that during the First World War hundreds of aerial photographs were taken of archaeological sites, chiefly in early Byzantine settlements in Palestine. In 1913 he began to document the remains of the imperial palaces in Constantinople. Marking Wiegand’s 150th birthday on 30 October 2014, the exhibition sheds light on the famous archaeologist’s abiding interest in the art and culture of Byzantium.

Am Kupfergraben, Eingang über die Monbijoubrücke
10117 Berlin

partially wheelchair accessible

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