If you don't think myth remains a large part of contemporary culture, you probably haven't been paying close attention to the evening news, the Discovery Channel, or the Internet, where stories of the fantastic, inexplicable, or just plain dumb abound. Remember Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction? How about Barack Obama being a Muslim, and the ailing U.S. health-care system being fit and not needing reform?
Then there are sundry reports of Sasquatch, Chupacabra, and Elvis sightings, plus crop circles and stories about how UFOs from Zeta Reticuli visited Connecticut to experiment on Betty and Barney Hill's genitalia.
Truth or fiction, it doesn't matter. Myth remains a part of the way we experience the world and try to make sense of the confusion we feel. "Sacred Stories, Timeless Tales," a new exhibit at the Lowe Art Museum, explores the roots of mythology and features more than 100 works drawn from the museum's vast collection of some 17,500 objects spanning 5,000 years.
|China-Empress' Twelve Symbol Robe|
|Courtesy Lowe Art Museum|
The show represents the art of Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa and includes a sprawling array of media ranging from pottery and ceramics to paintings, sculptures, textiles, and works on paper.
|Kuba Kingdom-Helmet Mask|
|Courtesy Lowe Art Museum|
And not unlike the principles that obsess the human psyche today, concepts of creation and morality, love and mortality, the cosmos and divinity, beauty, regeneration, and heroes and war all combine here in a loosely based narrative that transcends time.
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The captivating exhibit was curated by Denise M. Gerson, the Lowe's associate director, and is complemented by a handsome catalogue and expansive, informative wall text that bring diverse cultural traditions alive. It's a great summer show and a fantastic reminder of where the seeds of the likes of Hogwarts, X-Men, Thor, the Green Lantern, Frankenstein's monster, and even Kung Fu Panda were hoed.
Dracula (Lugosi), from Warhol's Myths Portfolio, is one of the artist's diamond-dust screen prints from the series depicting iconic pop-cultural figures who had achieved mythic status. It depicts Lugosi in his classic 1931 film role as Dracula and foreshadows the current vampire renaissance led by the Twilight saga and shows such as True Blood.
See "Sacred Stories, Timeless Tales" through October 23 at the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) Call 305-284-3535 or visit lowemuseum.org. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m., and is free,
Look for full review in this week's issue.