‘Transition to Christianity’ Exhibition at Onassis Foundation in the USA

An exhibition (December 7, 2011 – May 14, 2012) named “Transition to Christianity-Art of Late Antiquity, 3rd-7th Century AD” is jointly organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens with the scholarly support of an advisory committee from the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.

Many eminent people are intended to be the attendees of the opening day of the exhibition, such as journalists, politicians, businessmen and artists as well as representatives of Onassis Foundation and its president, Antonis Papadimitriou.

The vibrant and complex life of the Eastern Mediterranean during a time of reinvention and renewal will be the subject of a major new exhibition at the Onassis Cultural Center in Midtown Manhattan. The exhibition will bring together more than 170 exceptional objects on loan from Greek museums, as well as museums in Cyprus and the United States.

Incorporating many outstanding works of art that have never before been seen outside Greece, as well as recently discovered works that are being exhibited for the first time anywhere, Transition to Christianity reveals a period of extraordinary and perhaps unexpected creativity in the Greek world of Late Antiquity.

Transition to Christianity will reveal this story through seven thematic sections:

The first section, The End of Antiquity- Cultural and Religious Interactions, bears witness to the survival of the ancient Greek and Roman forms of worship and the mystery cults in the 3rd and 4th centuries, and to Christianity’s rise within this cultural milieu.

The second section, Christianity on the Rise: From Recognition to Authority, surveys the effects of Emperor Constantine the Great’s recognition of Christianity and policy of building magnificent churches in the empire’s great urban centers.

The third section, Urban Realities, focuses on the gradual changes in city life, while the fourth section, Daily Life, presents objects relating to the public entertainments in the Hippodrome.

The sixth section, Death and New Life, reflects the profound inner change brought about by Christianity and the last section will examine the emergence of Christian visual language in the Late Antiquity period.

The Onassis Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm, except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.