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Milleker, Elizabeth J., "The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West"

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Milleker, Elizabeth J., "The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West"

Milleker, Elizabeth J., "The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West"
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art | 2000 | ISBN: 0870999613/0300085141 | English | PDF | 232 pages | 21.81 Mb

Two thousand years ago, artworks of astonishing variety were being created in far-flung regions of the world. Although some of the cultures flourishing in the Year One, such as that of Rome, are well known, others may be less familiar. In Europe, Celtic peoples excelled in intricate metalwork, and in Egypt a fascinating hybrid combining Greco-Roman and age-old Egyptian styles predominated. East of the Mediterranean, such wealthy centers of trade as Palmyra, Petra, the kingdoms of southern Arabia, and the mighty Parthian Empire produced a wide range of sculpture, ceramics, and precious objects that served both religious and luxury purposes as well as everyday uses. Continuing eastward from Parthia to what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northern India, a traveler in the Year One would have discovered the eclectic arts of the Kushan Empire, where a distinctive early Buddhist art sometimes incorporated influences from Greece and Rome.

In East Asia, China's great empire under the Han dynasty was home to sophisticated arts in every medium; semi-nomadic peoples in northern China made metalwork ornaments, often to adorn the gear for their horses; and characteristic arts had begun to develop in Korea and Japan. The elegant bronzework produced in Southeast Asia testifies to a fertile artistic interchange in that region. Finally, in cultures across the Pacific Ocean in South America and Mesoamerica, powerful and expressive objects were made of stone, ceramic, and gold.

More than 150 works of art that exemplify all these societies at the Year One are illustrated in color and fully explained in this volume. Historical summaries accompanied by maps briefly describe the nature of each culture and the flow of power and peoples during the period centering around the Year One. An introductory essay offers both an overview and an account of the startling degree to which the ancient world was an interconnected one, crisscrossed by intrepid traders and adventurers who journeyed both east and west to bring back coveted goods and tantalizing scraps of information about exotic lands.

The works of art included here are almost all in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the book's authors are members of the museum's curatorial staff representing seven different departments. The catalogue is published to accompany the exhibition "The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West," held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from October 3, 2000, to January 14, 2001.

About the Author
Elizabeth J. Milleker is associate curator in the department of Greek and Roman art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Director's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Authors and Their Contributions
Note to the Reader

The Year One: Empires and Trade Routes across the Ancient World

The Mediterranean World: The Roman Empire
Map
Rome
Gaul, Britain, and Pannonia
Roman Egypt

West and Central Asia
Map
South Arabia
The Nabataeans
Palmyra
The Parthian Empire

Asia
Map
South Asia: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
East Asia: China, Korea, Japan
Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia

The Americas
Map

Checklist of Works Illustrated
Sources and Selected Bibliography
Index
Photograph Credits


Library Journal
"… Recommended …"

"Two thousand years ago, the great civilizations of the world were unaware or only dimly conscious of each other. The Year One is the attractively produced catalog of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that brings together art objects created in different parts of the world at the beginning of the first millennium, from Rome to India to China to the Americas. This interesting concept proves too vast for a single exhibition drawn from the collections of a single museum, even the Met's. The essays on the art of different cultures are informative but necessarily too short for their large subjects, though the main introductory essay paints a fascinating picture of a world being drawn together by conquest and trade. The problem is one of choice: narrowing down which cultures should be represented, and by which art works. Beautiful though each one is, the 150 items selected cannot do the job; they have insufficient context and give the impression of being chosen at random. Dividing the objects thematically might have been more successful than geographically–the spectacular Roman landscape frescoes may be a revelation to the reader, but the opportunity to compare contemporary Egyptian or Han Chinese landscapes is not taken. The photography and description of each object is excellent, however, and there is great beauty in this book. Though The Year One fails in its overall purpose, the individual artworks it presents are strong enough aesthetically to stand on their own." –John Stevenson


Milleker, Elizabeth J., "The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West"