What is Death: A Self-Portrait?
‘… major winter exhibition showcases some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death. .’ – Wellcome Collection
This huge exhibition that was at the Wellcome Collection covered many aspects of death. The objects are part of Richard Harris’ private collection and vary from memento moris to the objects used to celebrate death. One of the five rooms was filled with beautiful pictures and portraits with the opposite side of the room displaying the horrific effects of war and violent deaths.
This was an amazing exhibition for two reasons; one, the quality of the artefacts on display and the second for the amount that was on display. It is a pity I visited it quite late otherwise I think I may have gone twice.