Symposium—Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color, Day 2

Date and Time

Saturday, March 25, 2023

10:30 am–6 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.


Session Three: Color, Medium, and Materiality in Ancient Art
10:30 am–12:30 pm

The Matter of Gender in Ancient Greek Painting 
Jennifer Stager, Assistant Professor, Department of History of Art, Johns Hopkins University 

Adjusting the Lens of Race: A Re-examination of Skin Color in Representations of Black Africans in Ancient Greek Vase-Painting  
Najee Olya, Bothmer Fellow, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Met; PhD candidate, Program for Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, The University of Virginia 

Marble, Materiality, and Ethnicity in Roman Art: “Portraits” of Aethiopians and the Limits of Representation  
Sinclair Bell, Professor of Art History and Presidential Teaching Professor, Northern Illinois University 

Perceptions of Polychromy from Roman Egypt: Temples as Transformative Case Studies 
Erin A. Peters, Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture of the Ancient World, Appalachian State University 

Moderated by Sarah Lepinski, Associate Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Met 


12:30–1:30 pm


Session Four: From Antiquity to the Renaissance: The Role of Polychromy in Sculpture
1:30–3:30 pm

Bringing Color and Radiance into the Galleries for Ancient Near Eastern Art 
Jean-François de Lapérouse, Conservator, Department of Objects Conservation, The Met
Michael Seymour, Associate Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, The Met

The Color in the Sculptural Art of the Mexicas (Aztecs)
Laura Filloy Nadal, Associate Curator, The Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, The Met

Reassessing The Met’s Medieval Marbles: Colorem and Polychromy in 14th-Century Sculpture  
Shirin Fozi, Paul and Jill Ruddock Associate Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Met
Lucretia Kargère, Conservator, Department of Objects Conservation, The Met
Co-author: Adriana Rizzo, Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Met

Pictorial Effects in the Gilt and Silvered Bronze Reliefs of Donatello, Antico, and Gian Marco Cavalli
Denise Allen, Curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Met

Moderated by Seán Hemingway, John A. and Carole O. Moran Curator in Charge, Department of Greek and Roman Art, The Met 


3:30–3:45 pm


Session Five: The Importance of Color: Recreations and Receptions of Ancient Polychromy
3:45–5:45 pm

Winckelmann on Polychrome and Monochrome Sculptures in Greek Art
Oliver Primavesi, Professor of Greek Philology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich 

Reconstruction, Display, and Narrating Knowledge in the Museum 
Shiyanthi Thavapalan, Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Department of Art and Culture, History, Antiquity, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

“The Parthenon in Its Glory”: A Plaster Model in Color from the Metropolitan Museum
Andrea Schmölder-Veit, Senior Conservator, Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke (Museum for Casts of Classical Statues)

Laboriously and Delicately Tinted: Polychromy and Plaster Cast Exhibits at the Turn of the Last Century  
Ellen Perry, Monsignor Edward G. Murray Professor of Arts and Humanities and Director of College Honors, College of the Holy Cross 

Radical Hues: Color and Ornament, from Owen Jones to Late Postmodernism 
Abraham Thomas, Daniel Brodsky Curator of Modern Architecture, Design and Decorative Arts, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Met 

Moderated by Vinzenz Brinkmann, Head of the Department of Antiquities and Asia, Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection


Closing Remarks
5:45 pm


Day 1: Friday, March 24, 10:30 am–4:30 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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