Fine Arts | Acquiring the Past: Critical History of Collecting Greek & Roman Antiquities (Problems in Ancient Art)
A616 | 16224 | Van Voorhis

The history of Greek and Roman art has been constructed, in large
part, by those who have collected it.  The acquisition, restoration,
display, and interpretation of the works of classical antiquity have
separated these objects from their original contexts and created
new, more complex histories for them.  This course will examine the
varied motivations for collecting antiquities, their restoration and
display, and the ideologies behind the displays; it will also touch
upon modern ethical concerns.  We will begin with the Roman
acquisition of Greek art and end with present-day collecting
trends.  The course will be largely directed by student interest,
and topics for exploration may include the collection and display of
pagan antiquities in Medieval cities, Renaissance antiquarianism,
the impact of the grand tour, the early excavations of Pompeii and
Herculaneum, the impact of H. Schliemann, the role of collecting in
imperialist policy (i.e. Louis XIV, Napoleon, Mussolini), the
formation of national museums, the controversy surrounding the
repatriation of antiquities, and so on.  We will also explore the
histories and changing interpretations of long-known, familiar
works, such as the Laocoon, the Apollo Belvedere, and others.
This course may count for credit in either ancient art or in the
studentís area of concentration, as long as it is western.