Temporary exhibition

The enchanting art of stone cutting. Morgenstern 250

11.06.2020 26.03.2021

Photo: Casts of Gems. Philipp Daniel Lippert's Daktyliothek. The collections of  University of Tartu Art Museum kogu KMM GE 14/1

This exhibition introduces an old and forgotten art—engraving, or glyptics. The first stone-engraved cylindrical seals were made in the Middle East around the year 3500 BC. Improvements on it, flat ring seals, were used in Mesopotamia and Assyria, and from there they spread to Crete and other islands of the Aegean Sea, Greece and later—Italy. These gemstones have been valued through centuries for their valuable material and attractive images, but started to receive more attention again during the Modern Age, when they were researched and systemised, and when new gemstones were began to be made, including many falsifications of antique ones.   

The exhibition is dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Karl Simon Morgenstern, professor of rhetoric, classical philology, aesthetics, literary and art history, who acquired over 17,000 casts of gems for the art museum to illustrate lectures.

Exhibition team

Curated by: Jaanika Anderson

Designed by: Mari Kurismaa

Graphic solution authored by: Mari Kaljuste

The exhibition is supported by