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July 28, 2012 - June 23, 2013

Gifts from the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal

Gallery 1, Legion of Honor


Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

This exhibition coincides with the opening of the London 2012 Olympic in London. Plato considered both art and athletics to be gifts from the gods, and the connection between art and sport in ancient Greece can be seen as an aspect of its religious worldview as well as its competitive spirit. As time passed, the belief in the traditional religion faded, and the Olympic Games lost their religious significance, but the love of athletics, the thrill and pleasure of seeing the beauty and power of the participants, and the connection of athletics with art did not suffer. This exhibition draws together outstanding examples of art related to the Olympics from its ancient roots until today to reveal the continuity of the Olympic ideal and rich and diverse expressinos of the body in motion.

Related Programs


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This exhibition will be held in the 

Gallery 1, Legion of Honor

About Exhibitions at the Ancient Art Council

Exhibitions are an important aspect of a curatorial department. The Ancient Art Department has organized and mounted over the years exhibitions showcasing art from different ancient cultures in the Mediterranean. Some of these exhibitions are also accompanied by scholarly catalogues written, edited, or with contributions by the curator in charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, and published by the Publications Department. Exhibitions, like publications, fulfill the fundamental commitment of the Department to education, research, and scholarship.

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