September 21: Lecture by John North Hopkins

Decapitated: Reassembling the Biographies
of Ancient Mediterranean Objects

Ancient objects typically have long and complex lives. Their many uses (and re-uses) in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek or Roman contexts imbue them with extraordinary significance for the study of the past, but their modern rediscoveries and uses by looters, dealers, collectors, museums and academics often provide further twist to their (hi)stories. Often, important moments from their biographies are lost or purposefully hidden. While such obscurity can limit their value and do irreparable harm, new methods and perspectives in archaeological and museological research have opened some interesting doors. This talk will introduce a large-scale project to reassemble the biographies of ancient Mediterranean objects held at the Menil Collection, a prestigious art museum in Houston. After an overview of the purposes, practices and initial results, I will focus on one example from the collection and the value regained by opening up archives, acquisition records and museum files in a collaborative new effort between museums and the academic community. One example from the collection and the value regained by opening up archives, acquisition records and museum files in a collaborative new effort between museums and the academic community.

September 21 at 6:30 pm
Webinar (details forthcoming)

Tags: