Combining art, history, and archaeology to powerful effect “An Archaeologist’s Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab,” a new exhibition of drawings by Katherine A. Schwab, Ph. D., Fairfield University professor of art history, provides a glimpse into a world once inhabited by the ancient Greeks.
In 2005, the American art historian and archaeologist Katherine A. Schwab, Ph.D. began experimenting with graphite and pastel on paper in an effort to develop a new method for recording her research on the badly deteriorated ancient Parthenon metope sculptures in Greece. She found that careful drawing enabled her to make new observations and scholarly discoveries, which have in turn contributed to the larger understanding of the east and north metope series. Many of these drawings have been assembled for “An Archaeologist’s Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab,” an exhibition that invites the viewer into an imagined world once inhabited by Pheidias and his fellow sculptors. The exhibition opens with sixteen pastel and graphite drawings depicting the fight for supremacy on Mount Olympus. It continues with twelve graphite drawings of the Sacking of Troy, and concludes with seven graphite drawings of figures from the frieze and pediments she developed to help visualize the metope compositions. Through these drawings, the Parthenon metopes are being reimagined in our time. The sustained narrative of the earth-born Giants defeated by the Olympian Gods and the Sacking of Troy are once again recreated within each viewing, compelling the viewer to re-envision the elusive image.
The show schedule to date: Greek Consulate General, New York; Jan. 16 to Mar. 7, 2014, NY Greek Embassy/Smithsonian Associates, Washington, D.C.; April 14 to Aug. 1, 2014 Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; Sept. 13 – Dec. 7, 2014 Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE; Feb. 21 – March 29, 2015, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR; Nov. 15 – Feb. 15, 2016, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; March 31 – July 3, 2016, The Nashville Parthenon, Nashville, TN; September 4, 2016 – January 1, 2017. The show is available after Jan. 15, 2017.