Reconstructing the lost monuments of Antiquity became, after 1800, a complement to Europe's colonial imagination. Countless archaeologists and architects travelled to the East, excavated extinct cities, and shipped their finds to Europe for display in imperial museums. Antiquity on Display is a critical biography of Berlin's Pergamon Museum and its popular architectural displays: the Great Altar of Pergamon, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. In this volume, Bilsel argues that the museum has produced a modern decor, an iconic image, which has replaced the lost antique originals, rather than creating an explicitly hypothetical representation of Antiquity. Addressing the dilemmas raised by the continuing presence of these displays, which embody the distinctive traits of the artistic and ideological programs of the last two centuries, Bilsel questions what the process of reproduction and authentication of Antiquity in the museum tells us about our changing perceptions
Can Bilsel is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art, Architecture and Art History at the University of San Diego. He is also the founding director of the University of San Diego's Architecture Program.
LIST OF FIGURES; LIST OF PLATES; INTRODUCTION; EPILOGUE: REGIMES OF THE AUTHENTIC BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX