Art Around the World

Millennium Fever

By Tom Gross, January 01, 2000

As millennium fever sweeps the world, museums are joining in the excitement. Many are mounting special exhibitions to mark this once-in-a-thousand year event.

Not surprisingly, several are devoted to the theme of time. The National Gallery in London, has an exhibition entitled “Telling Time” (October 18, 1999 through January 14, 2001). It explores the relationship between time and painting, and includes an examination of the effects on canvas of rapid movement and attempts to capture the fleeting moment.

In Paris, the Louvre will be staging an exhibition called “The Empire of Time: Myths and Creations” (from April 14, 2000 to July 10, 2000), also addressing the relationship between art and time.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, for one month only (December 1999), the Singapore History Museum is exhibiting a “Millennium Time Capsule.” At the close of the exhibit, the capsule will be sealed until 2050. “The nation’s milestones of the past 100 years” will be placed inside it. According to organizers, it will serve as “a miniature exhibition for future generations to unfurl.”

Religion is also well represented in millennium exhibitions. The British Museum in London will show “The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come” (December 17, 1999 Spring 2000), depicting the Book of Revelations over the last millennium, using illustrated manuscripts, prints and drawings from the 11th century to modern times.

Also in London, at the National Gallery, “Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ” (February 26 May 7, 2000) will show how art has represented the son of god as man in life, death and redemption.

And in Jerusalem itself, at the Israel Museum, several millennium-related exhibitions have already begun. They include “In the Path of Christianity Treasures of the Israel Museum;” a special tour of the museum highlights. In the history of Christianity, starting at the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls; “Knights of the Holy Land The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem;” and “Drink and Be Merry Wine and Beer in Ancient Times,” which the museum describes as “a celebratory tribute to the age-old rituals of drink as the third millennium approaches.”

For more information on these exhibitions, check out the museum sites below:

Israel Museum:

National Gallery of London:

Singapore History Museum:

British Museum:

Article copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.