Sunday, January 6, 2013

AFoH Panel at AIA

Seattle, Saturday 5 January 2012

American Friends of Herculaneum sponsor panel at American Institute of Archaeology

Adrian Stähli answers a question in the Q&A of Saturday's panel.
Joining him (l-r): Ken Lapatin, Victoria Coates, Carol Mattusch, Eugene Dwyer, (Stähli) and John Seydl.
A panel of papers delighted a large room full of listeners at the annual meetings of the American Institute of Archaeology/American Philological Association. Organized by new AFoH president Carol C. Mattusch and board-member Kenneth Lapatin, the panelist discussed in roughly chronological order many diverse aspects of the modern artistic reception of Herculaneum.

Prof. Mattusch and Prof. Dwyer each discussed the history of early excavations at the site and taught about the museological development related to Herculaneum's spectacular early revelations. Prof. Coates delivered a multifaceted paper about three female characters who have emerged from the literary response to Herculaneum, Bulwer-Lytton's Nydia, Gautier's Arria Marcella, and Jensen's Gradiva. Prof. Stähli covered the extraordinarily rich cinematic reception of Vesuvian cataclysm, from Gli Ultimi Giorni di Pompei to Anno 79 and well beyond. Prof. Seydl offered far-ranging instruction on Postwar sculptural reception of Vesuvian victims, plastercasts and other artifacts that have made a lasting impression on the art of our day.

All papers were illustrated copiously with excellent visual support. Interested scholars may wish to follow the lecture series that will accompany the remarkable museum exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art during the Spring of 2013. Details for The Last Days of Pompeii: decadence, apocalypse, resurrection at Cleveland Museum of Art.

On Saturday, after a greeting from Lapatin, the audience was invited to join the American Friends in its efforts to raise funds for student fellowships and other related purposes. Several membership pledges were received at the meeting and a handful of new members joined.

— Roger Macfarlane

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