HISTART 426-001

Roman Sculpture - Image and Identity

Tappan 180
T 11:30am - 2:30pm
3 Credit Seminar

The phrase "Roman Sculpture" can conjure images of austere white marble monuments erected by an ancient empire. Yet Roman sculptures were actually brightly painted artworks erected by people from a wide variety of walks of life across the geographical breadth of the Roman world. Focused on the collections of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, this course gives students hands-on experience with looking closely at ancient artworks in the galleries and from storage as a way in to thinking about the broad uses made of this medium in the ancient world. We consider works ranging from politicians' portraits to bakers' tombs and from fantastic idealised figures to marginal motifs. Throughout we will employ a wide definition of sculpture that includes not only works in bronze and marble but also coins and gems to trace the ancient exploration of the possibilities inherent in plastic art.

Textbooks/Other Materials: All readings will be posted on Canvas or available on course reserve

Intended Audience: Upper undergraduates

Estimated Cost of Materials: $0

Course Requirements:

  1. Attendance and participation in class 10% [Registration taken; students encouraged to speak in class at least once in first half of the course, and to come to office hours to discuss their ideas if this is a more accessible setting for them]
  2. In-class presentation of a work in the Kelsey Museum with visual analysis 15% (c. 30 minutes)
  3. Exhibition/installation design (Plan installation of the artefact presented in the visual analysis assignment and write museum labels to accompany it) 20%
  4. Final paper annotated bibliography assignment 20% (comment on 3 texts for undergraduates (c. 5 pages double spaced); 5 texts for graduate students)
  5. Final paper outline: (1-2 pages structured outline of planned research) 10%
  6. Final paper 25% (6-8 pages double spaced for undergraduates; longer research paper of c. 6000 words for graduate students)

HISTART Concentration Distributions: Middle East, Europe and the US, Ancient

Course fulfills LSA Humanities Requirements

Keywords: Race, Gender, Museum, Beauty, Money, Army

Meets with HISTART 626.001 and CLARCH 626.001