Thursday, October 11, 2012

UO expert in Greek, Roman sculpture to lecture on visiting exhibit

Wednesday, October 10, 2012  

English: Roman marble sculpture of Hermes loca...
English: Roman marble sculpture of Hermes located in the Villa Terrace Decorative Art Museums. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Objects from the British Museum’s collection of Greek and Roman sculpture now on display at the Portland Art Museum are the topic of a free lecture by UO Professor Jeffrey Hurwit at 2 p.m. October 28 at the UO in Portland, Event Room, 70 N.W. Couch Street. The lecture is free and open to the public.
A leading scholar of ancient Greek art, Hurwit also will lead a tour of the exhibit, “The Body Beautiful In Ancient Greece,” starting at 4 p.m. at the museum, 1219 S.W. Park Avenue in Portland. Tickets to the tour are free to museum members or by advance purchase from the museum.

“Ancient Greek images, both vase paintings and sculptures, still form the basis of Western ideas of what a ‘beautiful body’ looks like, or should look like,” Hurwit said, “but ancient attitudes toward the body and the nude were more complex than is often thought. I am delighted to try to engage some of these issues before a general audience in Portland.”

The recipient of prestigious awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Hurwitis the author of many works on the art and civilization of archaic and classical Greece. He was lead consultant and commentator in an award-winning NOVA/PBS documentary on the Parthenon in 2008. A popular lecturer, he has spoken widely across the United States and Canada and has also served three times as a study leader for Smithsonian Institution tours of Greece and the Mediterranean.

The Body Beautiful” provides “an outstanding opportunity” for UO and the Portland Art Museum to work together, Hurwit said, “to provide a rare educational experience for the people of the Oregon.”

The Portland Art Museum is the first venue in the United States to present the exhibition, which features more than 120 objects from the British Museum’s famed collection of Greek and Roman art. Iconic marble and bronze sculptures, vessels, funerary objects, and jewelry are among the treasures that explore the human form, some dating back to the second millennium BC.

Hurwit’s books The Art and Culture of Early Greece (Cornell University Press, 1985), The Athenian Acropolis: History, Mythology, and Archaeology from the Neolithic Era to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles (Cambridge University Press, 2004) are regarded as standards in their fields.

In 2000-2001, Hurwit was appointed to the prestigious Martha S. Joukowsky Lectureship for the Archaeological Institute of America, and in 2003 became the inaugural Dorothy Burr Thompson Memorial Lecturer at University of British Columbia. He has also served on the editorial board of the Getty Research Institute.

Hurwit received a combined A.B.-M.A. degree in classical languages and literatures from Brown University, and a PhD in classical art and archaeology from Yale University. He taught at Yale for five years before joining the UO faculty in 1980. He has held a co-appointment in the Classics Department since 1987 and was named to a Philip H. Knight Professorship in 2008.

“The Body Beautiful” will be at the Portland Art Museum through January 6, 2013. This exhibition has been made possible through the collaboration of the British Museum and the Portland Art Museum.

Seating for Hurwit’s lecture is first come, first seated. To assure a seat, RSVPs or (503) 412-3718 are encouraged. Tickets to the tour are free to museum members or by advance purchase from the museum, (503) 226-2811.