From Greek vases to Italian marble statues, people just can’t get enough of quality museum replicas for their homes and offices. It’s small wonder, of course, that folks should wish to surround themselves with timeless classic beauty. Indeed, museum replicas can lend style and even authority – the authority of tradition, the gravitas of high culture – to any setting, imbuing a sense of significance to one’s own endeavors in such an environment.
Bronze sculpture is also popular among museum replica connoisseurs for just those reasons. Do not laugh; it’s true. Such showpieces symbolize one’s erudition and, even, personal nobility. Art certainly communicates those qualities, anyway, on behalf of their owners. And here’s the curious thing: it all sounds so crass, ironically, given the high-minded perception that normally surrounds art!
The very act of wishing to connect oneself with some past glory seems pretentious at best and downright absurd at worst. Yet it’s a fine line between true aesthetic appreciation of the informed sort and mere fashionable accessorizing of one’s residence or workplace.
Museum replicas allow us all to play the part of a refined collector of antiques – not “antiques” in the now commonly debased sense of someone’s grandmother’s grandmother’s quilt abandoned at a yard sale, but treasures of the ancients now ours to enjoy. The pottery of ancient Greece is not only beautiful but bear witness to one of the most intellectually remarkable civilizations of mankind.
And who has not gasped at the workmanship of a David, an Augustus Caesar, or an Ecstasy of Saint Teresa? These are some of the most prized examples of Italian inspiration anywhere, for all time, and owing one puts us in touch with the human capacity for imagination, the cultural heritage of our species. They lift us from the everyday into a realm of the spirit.