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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 this 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 includes loaned pieces from the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Library of Congress, and other institutions around the world. 

Sponsored by:

Lynda & Steve Buck

Ron & Denise Clark
Dr. Alan & Linda Rich Fund within the Give Well Community Foundation
Bob & Jane Macey
Tip & Lynn Fowler Fund within the Give Well Community Foundation

Earlier Event: June 16
Lorrie Goulet: Seventy Years Carving
Later Event: September 21
Sad Tropics