Wes Anderson curates museum treasures in Vienna

  • Arts
  • Thursday, 08 Nov 2018

Film director Wes Anderson arrives with his girlfriend artist Juman Malouf for the opening of their jointly-curated exhibition 'Spitzmaus Mummy In A Coffin And Other Treasures' at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. Photo: AFP

Vienna’s art history museum has launched an exhibition co-curated by filmmaker Wes Anderson and his wife, the writer and illustrator Juman Malouf, in which they offer a personal selection of the museum’s treasures.

The staff of curators and conservators at the Kunsthistorisches Museum assisted Anderson and Malouf in assembling the show’s more than 400 objects from the museum’s historical collections, taken from areas including Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, Old Master paintings, the Imperial Armoury, Coin Collection and the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments.

The fruits of this collaboration have gone display in the exhibition Spitzmaus Mummy In A Coffin And Other Treasures, whose historical scope ranges from a necklace of ceramic beads made in Ancient Egypt to a wooden monkey carved in Indonesia almost 5,000 years later.

Newly shared images from inside the exhibition reveal a quintessentially Wes Anderson creation, complete with sombre jewel tones, carefully juxtaposed objects and quirkily arranged portraits reminiscent of the director’s trademark aesthetic.

“While Juman Malouf and I can take no credit for the conception and creation of any of the works of art included in this exhibition,” writes Anderson in the exhibition catalogue, ”we do harbour the humble aspiration that the unconventional groupings and arrangement of the works on display may influence the study of art and antiquity in minor, even trivial, but nevertheless detectable ways for many future generations to come.”

The pair were given free rein to assemble pieces from the vast collections and archives of the museum, as well as some of its partner institutions, in order to put together Spitzmaus Mummy In A Coffin And Other Treasures.

Examples of the links they emphasised – some of which are “more apparent than others,” they concede – include the placing of “a 17th century emerald vessel in a confined space opposite the bright green costume from a 1978 production of Hedda Gabler in order to call attention to the molecular similarities between hexagonal crystal and Shantung silk,” while “a box for the storage of Spanish powdered wigs goes next to a case for the storage of the crown of the king of Italy because both were so clearly shaped and formed by the introduction of the hinge.”

Spitzmaus Mummy In A Coffin And Other Treasures runs through April 28, 2019. After that, it will get a second run at the Fondaziona Prada in Milan starting next October. – AFP Relaxnews

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