Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pieter Broucke on “A Roman Architect at Work: Apollodoros of Damascus and the Design of the Pantheon"

Thursday, February 11, 2016    at 6pm

Weisman Art Museum, 

University of Minnesota   
Dr. Broucke's reconstruction

The Pantheon in Rome ranks among the most celebrated monuments of Classical Antiquity. Yet many questions regarding its design and construction remain. In this lecture, Dr. Pieter Broucke, Middlebury College, will explore and reconstruct this enigmatic building’s various phases of design and construction. This talk is co-sponsored with the University of Minnesota Department of Art History and Weisman Art Museum.

About the speaker: Pieter Broucke is a professor of History of Art and Architecture and the the Director of the Arts at Middlebury College. He holds a PhD from Yale in History of Art and Architecture, an MA in Archaeology from the University of Minnesota, and a Professional Degree in Architecture from Ghent, in his native Belgium. He is delighted to return to the Twin Cities.

Please note that there will be time for questions after the talk, but there will not be an AIA-MN dinner with Professor Broucke.

Location and parking information can be found here. Please note that the Weisman's pay ramp can be entered from East River Road.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Philip Sellew on “Resurrecting Early Christian Lives: Digging in Papyri in a Digital Age”

Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 6pm in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, Macalester College

Excavations in the trash heaps of the Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus uncovered half a million scraps of paper giving us unprecedented evidence of human activity from the ancient Mediterranean world. Countless bits of everyday writing from Greco-Roman times were deposited in these garbage dumps: letters, contracts, tax records, census returns, petitions, recipes, school exercises. Editing, interpreting, and publishing these papyri has been a painfully slow process, with only 6,000 of those half a million texts yet in print. Our Minnesota-based project is using web-powered crowd sourcing to speed up the work and expand its horizons into new areas, such as texts written in the Coptic language representing the concerns of early Christian inhabitants of Egypt in late Roman times.

About the speaker: Professor Phillip Sellew's teaching involves the history of religions in Greek and Roman antiquity, with a special interest in early Christianity. Most of his published work is on the Gospels: Mark, Luke, the Q source, and the Coptic Gospel of Thomas. A second area of research is Coptic: the language and literature of Egyptian Christianity (and Gnosticism too) in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. His own writing projects these days center on Luke, Thomas, and various Coptic liturgical and hagiographical texts. 

*Location and parking information can be found here (#29 on the map)

A no-host dinner with the speaker will follow the lecture at Pad Thai Grand, 1681 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nassos Papalexandrou on “Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean: The Case of the Orientalizing Cauldrons”

Metropolitan Museum of Art 23.160.18
Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 11am: Nassos Papalexandrou, “Monsters and Vision in the Preclassical Mediterranean: The Case of the Orientalizing Cauldrons,” in the Pillsbury Auditorium at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

++ Free but all Mia talks are now ticketed +++

call 612-870-6323 or visit

The visual apparatus of orientalizing cauldrons introduced radically new technologies of visual engagement in the preclassical Mediterranean of the seventh century BCE. Hitherto the orientalizing innovation has been understood in terms of the wholesale importation or adaptation of objects, techniques, iconographies from the Near East. My study proposes instead that change was ushered in by a radical shift in ways of seeing and interacting with what today we call “art.”  The new technologies of visual engagement (new ways of seeing and being seen) I explore in this study reshaped the cognitive and aesthetic apparatus of viewing subjects.  I argue that the griffin cauldrons were devised to establish an aesthetic of rare and extraordinary experiences within the experiential realm of early Greek sanctuaries or in sympotic events of princely elites of orientalizing Italy. This aesthetic was premised on active visual engagement as performance motivated and sustained by the materiality of these objects.

About the speaker: Nassos Papalexandrou is with the University of Texas at Austin, and holds his degrees from the University of Athens and Princeton University (Ph.D.).  His areas of specialization are the ritual dimensions of Early Greek figurative art and archaeology, Orientalizing phenomena, and the archaeology of Cyprus; he has done field work in Athens, Crete, Naxos, and multiple sites on Cyprus. His first book, The Visual Poetics of Power: Warriors, Youths, and Tripods in Early Greece, was published in 2005. He is currently working on a second book that explores the role of monsters in the arts and rituals of Early Greece. A second project focuses on an exhibit that will showcase antiquities exchanged as diplomatic gifts between Greece and the USA after WWII. He is currently involved in two projects that have to do with the archaeology of ancient Italy. One focuses on the translation/reception of the Greek tripod cauldron in Magna Graecia and Sicily in the Geometric, Archaic, and Classical periods. The other has to do with the importation and emulation of griffin cauldrons from the Aegean to Italy, especially Etruria, in the Archaic period. Professor Papalexandrou has received numerous honors and awards and is the author of several scholarly articles. Along with Amy Papalexandrou (Stockton College), Dr. Papalexandrou held a Gertrude Smith professorship at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in the Summer of 2014, and this fall (2015) he is a Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art to work on his current book Monsters, Fear, and the Uncanny in the Preclassical Mediterranean.

AIA members are welcome to join the speaker for a no-host lunch following the lecture at Christos Greek Restaurant, 2632 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

++ Please note: this event is free and open to the public, but all Mia talks are now ticketed ++

call 612-870-6323 or visit