Symposium—Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color, Day 1

Date and Time

Friday, March 24, 2023

10:30 am–4:30 pm


The Met Fifth Avenue

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Register now


Join us for a two-day symposium to learn about new discoveries and the significance of polychromy with a multidisciplinary and international group of scholars, including art historians, conservators, curators, imaging specialists, and scientists.

You’re welcome to join for both days, or only the sessions that interest you.

Can’t make it in person? The program will be livestreamed and available to view on this page; no registration required. 


Welcoming Remarks
10:30–10:45 am

Max Hollein
Marina Kellen French Director, The Met

10:45–11:15 am

Investigations into the Colors and Narratives of Greek and Roman Sculpture
Vinzenz Brinkmann, Head of the Department of Antiquities and Asia, Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection

Session One: Chroma, the Exhibition
11:15 am–1:30 pm

Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color and Ancient Polychromy at The Met  
Seán Hemingway, John A. and Carole O. Moran Curator in Charge, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Met 
Sarah Lepinski, Associate Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Met 

 Discovering Decoration on Greek and Roman Marble Sculpture at The Met
Dorothy Abramitis, Conservator, Department of Objects Conservation, The Met

In Search of Ancient Pigments: The Contribution of Scientific Research to Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color 
Federico Carò, Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Met 
Elena Basso, Associate Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Met 

Colors of the Sphinx: The Physical Reconstruction as an Indispensable Part of the Investigation Process
Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Classical Archaeologist, Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection, Städel Museum; Assistant Lecturer, Classical Archaeology, Georg August University of Göttingen
Co-author: Heinrich Piening, Research Scientist and Conservator, Bavarian Palace Administration, Laboratory for Archaeometry

3D Imaging the Sphinx: Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities 
Scott Geffert, General Manager, Imaging, The Met
Jesse Ng, Imaging Specialist, Imaging, The Met

Moderated by Jan Stubbe Østergaard, Emeritus Research Curator, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


1:30–2:30 pm


Session Two: New Research on the Discovery and Reconstruction of Ancient Greek and Roman Polychromy
2:30–4:30 pm

Marble, Gilding, and the Princeton Alexander from Hermopolis Magna 
Mark Abbe, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Georgia  
Co-author: Adriana Rizzo, Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Met

Visible and Invisible: Investigating Ancient Polychromy at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Past, Present, and Future 
Kenneth Lapatin, Curator of Antiquities, The J. Paul Getty Museum 
Marie Svoboda, Conservator of Antiquities, The J. Paul Getty Museum 

The Portrait of Young Psyche from Mellos: The Investigation and Color Reconstruction of the Portrait Bust of a Young Girl at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Giovanni Verri, Conservation Scientist, Department of Conservation and Science, Art Institute of Chicago
Hariclia Brecoulaki, Senior Researcher, Greek and Roman Antiquity, National Hellenic Research Foundation
Ioanna Mennenga, Curator, National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Despina Ignatiadou, archaeologist; Head Curator of the Sculpture Collection, National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Reconstructions and Digital Technology at the MFA, Boston: The Case of the Athena Parthenos  
Laure Marest, Cornelius and Emily Vermeule Associate Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
Meredith Binnette, creative technologist 

Moderated by Joanne Dyer, Scientist: Colour Science, Department of Scientific Research, The British Museum 


Day 2: Saturday, March 25, 10:30 am–6:00 pm

Free with Museum admission, though advance registration is required. 

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color.

The symposium is made possible by Mary Jaharis.

Masks are strongly recommended.

See our visitor guidelines.

Assistive listening devices are available from the ushers.

Image: Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Reconstruction of marble finial in the form of a sphinx (detail), 2022. 3D print in polymethyl metacrylate, natural pigments in egg tempera, gilded copper, gilded tin. Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main; original: Greece, ca. 530 BCE. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (11.185d, x)


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