Stories in Ivory and Wood


June 11, 2021 – January 23, 2022

In the mid 1600s a carver known only as the Master of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian created dramatic, emotionally-charged works of art in ivory and boxwood. This intimate exhibition will feature two of his most extraordinary sculptures, The Fall of Man and Agony in the Garden, both triumphs of visual storytelling. Comparing these two biblical stories, the media the artist used, and additional works in ivory and wood by his contemporaries illuminates the artistic world in which this mysterious artist practiced. As only about 20 of his carvings are known today, this exhibition is a rare opportunity to study his distinctive hand in two different materials.


August 18 | Curator Talk: Stories in Ivory and Wood
September 11 | Second Saturdays for Families: Carving a Story
September 24 | Curator Talk: Master Ivory Carvers

Master of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, South Germany-Austria, The Fall of Man, c. 1630-50, Ivory,

Master of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, The Fall of Man, c. 1650–60. Ivory. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan.

Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.