This exhibition reveals how, before Mount Vesuvius blew up in AD 79 and rocked the Bay of Naples, people in Pompeii and nearby farms and villages were engaged in typical daily activities, many of which revolved around food and drink. Thousands were killed in the midst of their daily routines. The swiftness of the eruption and the depth of the volcanic cover of pumice and hot ash preserved the buried ruins, creating a time capsule that left the city of Pompeii virtually intact. Its rediscovery gives us a picture of what life was like in a thriving Roman city.
Antiquities on view in the exhibition run the gamut from luxury furnishings and tableware of precious metal; mosaics and frescoes; and marble and bronze sculpture decorating the home, to carbonized foodstuffs laid on the table. Together the objects open a vista onto the splendor and luxury loved by the wealthy Romans who called Pompeii their homes.
This exhibition is conceived and developed by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, and is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in collaboration with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli and the Parco Archeologico di Pompei.
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn
Clare C. McEvoy Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Jay D. McEvoy Trust
Diane B. Wilsey
William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Ruddock Foundation for the Arts
Iris S. Chan and Dr. Michael Chan, MD
Additional Support is provided by Bernard and Jane von Bothmer in honor of Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Elizabeth D. Moyer, Ph.D., and Michael C. Powanda, Ph.D.; Sheila Wishek; Ancient Art Council; and Consulate General of Italy and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, San Francisco.
About Exhibitions at the Ancient Art Council
Exhibitions are an important aspect of a curatorial department. The Ancient Art Department has organized and mounted over the years exhibitions showcasing art from different ancient cultures in the Mediterranean. Some of these exhibitions are also accompanied by scholarly catalogues written, edited, or with contributions by the curator in charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, and published by the Publications Department. Exhibitions, like publications, fulfill the fundamental commitment of the Department to education, research, and scholarship.