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Antikenmuseum Basel

Basel, Switzerland
April 28 – June 23, 1996

Prof. Dr. Peter Blome, Director
Prof. Dr. Margot Schmidt, Assistant Director
Dr. Barbara Begelsbacher, President Museum Commission
Anne-Kathi Wildberger, Head of Museum Education
Heide Hildebrand, WBB Austrian Curator and Coordinator
Ella Van der Meijden, WBB Swiss Curator and Coordinator
Dr. Sania Papa, WBB Greek Curator and Coordinator
Vera Giesel, Annerose Bekuhrs, WBB German Curators and Coordinators


Pandora, just to set things straight, was the Athenian name for the earth goddess Rhea. The nasty little tale told by Hesiod, the Greek historian, blaming all the world’s follies and ills on a woman who opened up a box of Spites, is “not a genuine myth but an anti-feminist fable, probably of his own invention,” according to mythographer Robert Graves. Pandora’s jar originally contained winged souls.


Well, than the real Pandora is back in action. Because of an idea hatched in Santa Barbara, 200 plus women artists from more than a dozen countries are sending their “winged souls” out into the world in tiny wooden boxes.

– Mary Heebner, Santa Barbara Magazine 1995


Lydia Dambassina – The Last Child, Greece, 1996

Lydia Dambassina – The Last Child – Greece
My work is a continuous relation with movement and time. The spiral is a symbol of life and fertility: the permanence of being under its mobility.


Ellen Wessinhage, Lorraine Serena, Sania Pappa, WBB Greece Curator, Vana Xenou (WBB Artist) at Opening of WBB Basel.
Ellen Wessinhage, Lorraine Serena, Sania Pappa,WBB Greece Curator, Vana Xenou, WBB Artist at Opening of WBB Basel



Women Beyond Borders Catalog

Annemarie Monteil, Art Historian


Anne-Kathi Wildberger, Educational Curator and Heide Bilderbrand, WBB Austrian participant had the inspiration of including a segment of WBB along with Pandora, Women in Classical Greece, an exhibition of vessels and objects from 5th Century Greece, organized by Dr. Ellen Reeder of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Margot Schmidt, assistant director of the Antiken Museum, also wrote of this possibility, “I am looking forward to the realization of this project. If we can join WBB with Pandora in Basel, it would mean that we would link not only women of our time, but we would also link with the ancient Greek women who, at their time, had a strong need for solidarity. Pandora is the first ancient art exhibition in the world to center around women, and provides a groundbreaking perspective into their lives, customs, rituals and myths in an unprecedented gathering works of art from Greece.”


Dr. Sania Papa (Greece), Lorraine Serena, Dr. Margot Schmidt (Switzerland). Ella Van der Meijden (Switzerland), Frank Serena, Vana Xenou (Greece) at opening of WBB Basel.
Dr. Sania Papa (Greece), Lorraine Serena, Dr. Margot Schmidt (Switzerland). Ella Van der Meijden (Switzerland), Frank Serena, Vana Xenou (Greece) at opening of WBB Basel


As these ensembles stream in toward us from so many different places on earth, it is as if they brought to us the essence and spiritual climate of the land and its inhabitants. The voice of the Swiss artists is cooler, more intimate. In Greece one feels in the familiar company of myth. And the Americans radiate self-assurance. Cradle and coffin, boat and garden, altar and shrine expressed by what are at first only anonymous little boxes.


Anne Sauser Hall, Untitled (Pandora), 1996, Switzerland
Anne Sauser Hall, Untitled (Pandora), 1996, Switzerland


These happenings out of the lives of women, transformed through pictorial images, have nothing to do with feminine art but rather with the life wisdom of women – birth, death, transformation. With that wisdom, even within the smallest thing can lie the embryo of the great. Whoever finds her own vision as truly as possible has the power to grasp the world in the hollow of her hand.


Read Essay By Sania Papa about Greek Artists participating in this exhibition:

Truthful and Authentic Communication By Sania Papa




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