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KEY Oklahoma City

Visitors to Oklahoma City will have the unique opportunity to view Roman Art from the Louvre, through October 12, 2008. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the final North American venue for the exhibition, so large it occupies the Museum’s ground floor special exhibition gallery and the eight second floor galleries, featuring 184 works, some weighing more than 6,000 pounds.

An unprecedented exhibition of ancient masterworks, drawn from the Louvre’s unparalleled collection, it provides a rare and historic opportunity for Oklahoma audiences to view these magnificent works, many of which have not been seen by the public in decades and most of which have never traveled to the United States. Many of the objects in the exhibition have recently been restored, bringing to light their original beauty and strength of expression.

The exhibition features masterworks that highlight the diversity of artistic production that characterizes Roman art. These exceptional pieces date from the early first century B.C. to the 6th century A.D. The Louvre, thanks to Napoleon’s megalomaniac interest in the glories of Ancient Rome, has one of the finest collections of Roman art outside of Italy. The exhibition of sculpture, jewelry, mosaics, and frescos will be scrupulously arranged in a thematic manner that will certainly be visually and aesthetically pleasing as well as historically informative.

The exhibition examines the manifestations of Roman public and private life through an exploration of several themes, including religion, urbanism, war, imperial expansion, funerary practices, intellectual life, and family. Roman Art from the Louvre shows the full range of Roman artistry and taste, juxtaposing “official” art with more modest, private works.

Roman Art from the Louvre traces the genealogy of the four main Roman dynasties including the Julio-Claudians, the Antonines, the Severans, and the family of Constantine, through an examination of works made between the first century B.C. and the early fourth century A.D. These works illustrate the evolution of aesthetics, as well as the changing social influences under the Roman emperors, who exerted both secular and religious powers.

Roman Art from the Louvre is accompanied by a fully illustrated 280-page exhibition catalogue, featuring major essays and individual catalogue entries. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays until 9:00 p.m., Sundays Noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and children five and under are free. For more info, call 405-236-3100 or visit

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