Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

The well preserved remains of the UNESCO world cultural heritage site of Parsa (Greek: Persepolis) is one of the most fascinating sites in southwestern Iran despite the extensive destruction of its magnificent palaces by Alexander the Great. Early travelers had noted traces of paint on its stone sculptures and monuments, but few scientists had looked into the extent of colors that had once embellished these works. Nagel will describe his study of the colors on the monuments and reveal how his results can change our perception of the ancient Near East.

Book Signing to follow lecture

DAVID STRONACH, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, will be on hand to sign Ancient Iran from the Air published by Philipp von Zabern. Stronach co-edited this collection of photographs taken between 1976 and 1978 by Georg Gerster, one of the world’s foremost aerial photographers, who flew across the length and breadth of Iran to photograph the memorable landscapes, archaeological sites, and historical monuments that characterize this storied land.

Copies of Ancient Iran from the Air will be available at this special event.

About Programs at the Ancient Art Council

Programs are varied and include such activities as lectures by noted archaeologists, museum curators, and ancient art historians; exclusive tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions; fund-raising events; and travel programs to ancient sites and other museums. Members also receive invitations from related organizations to attend lectures ad exhibition openings. Your annual membership dues and contributions will assist in furthering the Ancient Art collection at the Fine Arts Museums.


March 10, 2012, 10:00 PM - 3:00 PM

An Empire in Blue—Color in Persepolis: New Research on the Polychromy of Achaemenid Persian Palace Sculpture, ca. 520 to 330 BC

Florence Gould Theater, Legion of Honor

Presented by Dr. Alexander Nagel, Assistant Curator, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution

Admission: Free and open to the public; advance registration required: please RSVP to


Ancient Art Council supports Antiquities at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.



Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

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.

Dates TBD


Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events


Dates TBD

AD 79: When Time Froze in Pompeii


Dates TBD

Rehearsed Reading of Euripides’ "Bacchae"


Dates TBD

Workshop: Cultural Heritage and Antiquities

Please help us keep Ptolemy I Soter—Alexander the Great’s general and the founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty which ended with Cleopatra—in San Francisco.

The Ancient Art Council is seeking your help to acquire this Egyptian limestone relief of a Ptolemaic king in a devotional pose. Any amount will help.