Exhibition focuses on mystery of possible masterwork discovery

A large-scale painting of a Roman chariot race found in a closet on the Florida Southern College campus unearthed a mystery and became the impetus for a home-grown exhibition on view at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College. “The Von Wagner Code” is a curated exhibition centered on the rediscovered painting that appears to be an early, lost version of Hungarian artist Alexander von Wagner’s acclaimed masterpiece, “The Chariot Race” of 1882, now in the Manchester Art Gallery. Several early versions are known to have been painted originally in the 1870s but have vanished. This exhibition is also believed to be the first-ever museum show focused on von Wagner and his work, said Dr. Alex Rich, PMA curator and director of galleries and exhibitions. The fragile but newly-conserved painting measures 52 inches by 72 inches and was gifted to Florida Southern in 1953 as a 17th

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