London show views death through artists’ eyes

November 15, 2012 • Entertainment

A visitor looks at an installation ‘Calavera’ by Argentinean collective Mondongo, on display at an exhibition ‘Death : The Richard Harris Collection’ at the Wellcome Collection gallery in London, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

LONDON (AP) — Try as we might, there’s no escaping death. Art collector Richard Harris has decided to embrace it instead — and wants the rest of us to do the same.

The retired Chicago print dealer has spent years acquiring works imbued with mortality, from 18th-century anatomical drawings to Tibetan skull masks and papier-mache skeletons from Mexico.

Some 300 items from his trove are on display at London’s Wellcome Collection in an exhibition that asks whether art can help us understand and prepare for death.

Standing amid the skeletons and skulls of “Death: A Self Portrait,” the 75-year-old Harris is an incongruously cheerful figure who laughs when asked if he is, perhaps, a little obsessed with death.

“Of course not!” he said Wednesday at a preview of the show, which opens to the public on Thursday and Login to read more

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