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Greek vases, marble sculptures, and other ancient works hint at how artists in antiquity visualized racial identity, often in ways quite different from our own. This Teaching Gallery exhibition presents a selection of ancient objects from the Museum's collection—including Greek vases from the early fourth century BCE to the third century CE—alongside a range of drawings, paintings, and sculpture, from the Renaissance to today, by such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, and Romare Bearden. Through these works the exhibition examines the emergence of an interpretation in which the image of Classical Antiquity is inextricably tied to Whiteness, as well as how this construction still pervades contemporary thinking about the ancient world.

The exhibition is curated by Kathryn Wilson, senior lecturer in the Department of Classics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, in conjunction with her course “Race and Identity in Greco-Roman Antiquity,” offered in fall 2021.

Download the Teaching Gallery flyer

View the curator's website for the course and exhibition

Read the curator's blog post for the Center for the Humanities

View the HEC-TV story on the exhibition

Download pdf (90.1KB)

Selected works

The Teaching Gallery is a space in the Kemper Art Museum dedicated to presenting works from the Museum's collection with direct connections to Washington University courses. Teaching Gallery installations are intended to serve as parallel classrooms and can be used to supplement courses through object-based inquiry, research, and learning. Learn more