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2015-16 Bonnycastle Lecture - Classics Feature Part 2

Tue. Mar. 10, 2015

Dr. Elizabeth MarloweThe Winnipeg Art Gallery’s exhibit, Olympus: The Greco-Roman Collections of Berlin, brings to us more than 160 classical treasures from the National Museums of Berlin, and so doing, it is the largest exhibit of classical antiquities to be held in Manitoba in more than 50 years. It’s no surprise, then, that the usually busy faculty, staff and students of the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Classics is working even harder this year to maximize the benefit of having this amazing exhibit in Winnipeg and almost next door!

In this four part series, we feature UWinnipeg’s Department of Classics and look at some of events and activities the Department is planning in association with the exhibit.

In Part 1, I caught up with Dr. Surtees to ask her for some background about her work, about the conference, Methodologies in Ancient Material Culture, and how she came to be hosting it with Dr. Kate Cooper at the University of Winnipeg.

Here in Part 2, Dr. Surtees tells us about the keynote address for the conference Methodologies in Ancient Material Culture, which is being given as the University of Winnipeg 2015-16 Bonnycastle Lecture*.

Dr. Elizabeth Marlowe and her research:

The 2015-16 Bonnycastle Lecture will be given by Dr. Elizabeth Marlowe, Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. She earned an MPhil and PhD at Columbia University and specializes in ancient art and the city of Rome, particularly from the late antique period, and modern uses of the classical past. Her research examines the relationship between artistic forms and ideological content in the art of the ancient world, and explores the reception and reuse of ancient monuments in the modern world, by scholars, collectors, governments and various other interest groups.

Dr. Marlowe is a past recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Her recent book, “Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art” (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2013) has received wide praise within the discipline. This work urges a new approach to the study of Roman art, exploring the complex relationship between context and connoisseurship, an approach which fits perfectly with the goals of the conference being held at UWinnipeg, “Methodologies in Ancient Material Culture.” 

This lecture will be held in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall at the University of Winnipeg on Friday Oct. 2nd at 7:00 PM, and will be followed by a reception. Surtees says that admission is free and all faculty, staff, and students, as well as the general public, are invited to attend, as the lecture will be accessible to a general audience as well as specialists.

Lecture title and brief description:

"'The Ugliest Statue at the Met' and the Limits of Interpretation": This talk will consider how art historians and scholars of the ancient world have approached one particular, canonical statue. Made of bronze, the statue depicts an unusually large, barrel-torsoed, pin-headed nude male figure, and is ostensibly dated to the third century CE. The figure’s unusual proportions and unattractive appearance have often been understood as signs of the beginning of the end of the classical era. For that reason, the statue has played an important role in the scholarly literature on the transition to medieval styles. This talk will offer a critical examination of that interpretation, and present an alternative one as well.

* The Bonnycastle Lecture Series was established in 1969 in memory of Richard H.G. Bonnycastle, by his wife and son. Mr. Bonnycastle was a publisher, former Chair of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Council, and the University of Winnipeg's first Chancellor.