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From Nineveh to New York

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2000 at 09:55 AM CT

Book Description

Russell traces the history of the Assyrian reliefs now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a relief at Canford School, formerly Lady Charlotte Guest's Canford Manor, in Dorset, England, that the author rediscovered in 1992. Index.

This book tells the vivid story of Sir Austen Henry Layard`s nineteenth-century rediscovery of ancient Assyria and its fabled capital, Nineveh, and of the subsequent collection, dispersal, and frantic twentieth-century reacquisition of Layard`s huge collection of ancient Assyrian art. With previously unpublished photographs, illustrations from rare nineteenth-century sources, and first-hand accounts, the book sheds new light on the history and meaning of Assyrian art and on taste, dealing, and collecting over two centuries.

From The Publisher
The story of Sir Austen Henry Layard's rediscovery of ancient Assyria and its fabled capital, Nineveh, is one of the great tales of nineteenth-century archeological imperialism, genius, and romance. In this social history of the reception of ancient Assyrian art in England and subsequently America, John Malcolm Russell focuses on the huge collection of artifacts that Layard brought back to England. Much went to the British Museum, but much also to the fascinating Lady Charlotte Guest and then - via a Manhattan dealer and numerous competitive curators and millionaires - to the Metropolitan Museum.

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