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December 2003 - Nr. 12


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"The Glory of Baroque Dresden" comes to Mississippi

  TWIG - Just over a year ago, torrential floods swept through the city of Dresden in Saxony, threatening to destroy some of Germany’s most important cultural artifacts. Museum curators, preservationists, but also volunteers from the surrounding countryside raced to the city’s Zwinger Palace and other museums to ensure the safety of these century-old collections.

This spring — just a year and a half after the flood — hundreds of works from the Dresden State Galleries will be on exhibition in Jackson, Mississippi in "The Glory of Baroque Dresden" exhibition.

The exhibition will mark the first time that many of the world’s greatest Baroque treasures can be seen in the United States and will be one of the cultural highpoints and must-see exhibitions of 2004.

"The Glory of Baroque Dresden" is being brought to the United States by a cooperative project between eight of Dresden’s finest museums and the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange.

For almost a decade, the commission has been enhancing cultural exchange between America and Europe through its stellar exhibitions, which have included "Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style," the "Splendors of Versailles," and "The Majesty of Spain: Royal Collections from the Museo del Prado and Patrimonio Nacional."

Funded only in part by both municipal and state governments but mainly by contributions from art lovers, private persons, and the corporate community, the commission is taking a leadership role in bringing international fine arts exhibitions and educational programs to Mississippi and the Southeastern United States.

"The Glory of Baroque Dresden" exhibition will include over 300 major artworks procured during the European Baroque period during the reign of August the Strong (1670-1733) and his son August III, both sovereign rulers of Saxony.

Among the pieces on exhibit are an impressive collection of paintings from the Old Master Gallery, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Tintoretto, Velazquez, Van Dyck, and Vermeer.

Another highlight is the jewels on loan from the renowned "Green Vault," which includes the 41-carat "Dresden Green Diamond," the only large, light green diamond of its kind. Dazzling jewels such as the emerald-laced "Moor" and selected pieces from the emerald, ruby, and sapphire garnitures build a further component of the show.

Fans of world-famous Meissner porcelain will feast their eyes on the largest collection in the world, as well as additional pieces of ceramic art from East Asia and Japan. The collection was developed under the rule of August the Strong of Saxony, who called his unrelenting passion for porcelain "the porcelain disease."

Rounding out these are collections from the armory, the sculpture garden, furniture from the Zwinger Palace, gold and silver coins, rare prints, and several vases and rare sculptures from antiquity.

The executive director of the Commission, Jack Kyle, highlighted the exhibition’s importance and far-reaching resonance for transatlantic cultural exchange, saying that "without question, the masterpieces loaned by the State Art Collections Dresden for the Glory of Baroque Dresden Exhibition will capture the attention of art lovers, scholars, those interested in German culture, and visitors from throughout Mississippi, the Southeast, the entire United States, and North America.

"If not the finest, it surely will be one of the top art exhibitions and major attractions in the United States in 2004," he added.

The exhibition will run from March 1 to September 6, 2004.



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