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Art History Lecture to Focus on "Ancient Faces"

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04/11/2000

NEW PALTZ, NY -- The Art History Association at SUNY New Paltz will host a lecture titled New Light on "Ancient Faces": The Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt on Wednesday, April 12. Guest lecturer Eve D'Ambra, associate professor of Art at Vassar College, will deliver this free lecture at 7pm in Lecture Center 102 on the SUNY New Paltz campus.

Designed to compliment the exhibition "Ancient Faces: The Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt" that is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 7, Professor D'Ambra will discuss mummy portraits from a district in Egypt called the Fayum. These images provide rare evidence for painted portraits in classical antiquity with their exquisite and poignant images of handsome men, elegant women, and beloved children. Dating from the period of Roman rule, from the 1st through the 3rd centuries AD, these portraits were painted on wooden boards that covered the face, or linen shrouds that covered the entire body of the mummy. Given that the subjects of the portraits were Egyptians who spoke Greek and who had political ties to Rome, these mummy portraits raise issues of social identity, as well as of artistic practice, in the cosmopolitan town of Egypt.

Professor D'Ambra has taught and published widely in the field of Roman art and society. The lecture is free and open to all. For additional information contact the Art History Department, 257-3875. The Art History Association, a funded member of the Student Association, presents this event.