Back to All Events

The Von Wagner Code


Attributed to Alexander Von Wagner, The Chariot Race.

Attributed to Alexander Von Wagner, The Chariot Race.

A unique Polk Museum of Art curated exhibition inspired by the rediscovery of a damaged, long-lost painting on the Florida Southern College campus and the exciting search for answers about its origins.

Once thought to date from 17th-century Italy, the painting is now realized to be a version of the famed 19th-century masterpiece, The Chariot Race, attributed to the Hungarian artist Alexander Von Wagner. This newly-stabilized artwork serves as the visual centerpiece for a large-scale show thematically focused on the surprising history and cultural influence of the painting (including upon the movie Ben Hur), the complex story of its vanishing and rediscovery, and the critical importance of the conservation process in preserving artistic treasures. The exhibition The Von Wagner Code will also include loaned pieces from the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Library of Congress, and other institutions around the world. 

Earlier Event: June 3
Sad Tropics
Later Event: September 8
The Art of Romaine Brooks