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A MEDUSA FOR MANHATTAN: LUCIANO GARBATI'S 'MEDUSA WITH THE HEAD OF PERSEUS'

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  A MEDUSA FOR MANHATTAN :  STATUE OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2020 As the bizarre and frustrating year that has been 2020 draws to a close, I’d like to consider one of the more positive aspects of this year’s events: a renewed interest in public sculpture.   One of the most memorable pieces of news footage this year was the toppling of the bronze statue of slave-trader Edward Colston in Bristol .   Suddenly public sculpture stopped being invisible street furniture and became a topic for discussion, particularly in terms of the purpose of such sculpture: who should we (and shouldn’t we) be commemorating in this way, and what form should such memorials take?       One of the most controversial sculptures to be erected this year (although the original resin version of the statue actually goes back to 2008) is Medusa with the Head of Perseus , a bronze sculpture by the Argentinian sculptor Luciano Garbati depicting a beautiful, naked Medusa holding a sword and the head of Perseus (modelled

THE MONUMENT: A CLASSICALLY-THEMED WAR MEMORIAL

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  THE MONUMENT: WHY DOES SOUTHPORT HAVE SUCH A MASSIVE WAR MEMORIAL? If you ever pay a visit to the seaside resort of Southport, situated on the Lancashire coast between Liverpool and Preston, it’s impossible to miss a set of structures - an obelisk, two large pavilions and formal gardens with ponds - known as ‘the Monument’.   These structures collectively form Southport ’s war memorial, originally built to commemorate the town’s dead from the Great War (1914-1918) but still in use today, as names are added from each subsequent conflict. So how did Southport come to acquire one of the largest and most impressive war memorials in Britain ?   This article will attempt to answer this question through analysing the process by which the Monument was commissioned.     The idea of a war memorial for Southport began to be floated soon after the signing of the Armistice in November 1918.   It was estimated that of the town’s population of 72,500 (it had grown massively over the las

TALKING 'BOUT THE BAD GIRLS: REVIEW OF 'FATAL ATTRACTION' EXHIBITION, THE ATKINSON, SOUTHPORT

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  TALKING ‘BOUT THE BAD GIRLS: REVIEW OF ‘FATAL ATTRACTION: LILITH & HER SISTERS’ EXHIBITION AT THE ATKINSON ART GALLERY , SOUTHPORT   I never cease to be impressed by the way in which the Atkinson (a local authority-run museum and art gallery in Southport ) consistently manages to deliver engaging and stylish exhibitions despite working with very limited resources.   Highlights over the last few years have included shows on the ‘discovery’ of Egypt by Western tourists and archaeologists ( Adventures in Egypt ); the Grand Tour ( The Ince Blundell Marbles ); and the Vikings, as well as shows dedicated to the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Vivienne Westwood.         The Atkinson’s latest exhibition, curated by Dr Laura Eastlake from the English Department at Edge Hill University, draws on paintings, ceramics, sculpture, book illustrations (Aubrey Beardsley’s Salome ) and film ( Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Theda Bara as the ‘Vamp’)  to explore how the idea of the femme fatale f

THE BELVEDERE TORSO: MAN OR BEAST?

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THE BELVEDERE TORSO: MAN OR BEAST?   The Belvedere Torso was once one of the most famous sculptures in the world, despite being so badly-damaged that it is missing its head, both arms and both lower legs.   It was held in such high esteem that the 1816 Parliamentary Select Committee, established to determine how much the British Museum should pay Lord Elgin for the Parthenon Marbles (the ‘Elgin Marbles’), asked its expert witnesses whether the sculptures from the Parthenon were in the same league as acknowledged masterpieces, like the Apollo Belvedere , the Belvedere Torso and the Laoco├Ân ?                       Plaster cast of the Belvedere Torso in the Ashmolean Cast Gallery, Oxford In the 18 th century this sculpture was so famous that art historians and Romantic poets could simply refer to it as ‘the Torso ’ or ‘le Torse’ (always with a capital T), confident that their readers would be familiar with it through various media: engravings, drawings, paintings or plaster casts.