Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

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

Opening remarks by Dr. Renée Dreyfus, Curator in Charge of Ancient Art and Interpretation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


Dr. Vinzenz Brinkmann
Head of Antiquities, Liebieghaus Sculpture Collection, Frankfurt

The Splendor of Classical Bronze Statues
Ancient authors report in detail about the colorful and extremely illusionistic appearance of classical bronze statues. Latest research on Greek original bronzes have enhanced our knowledge on bronze polychromy significantly. An experimental recast and reconstruction of both warriors from the sea off the coast of Riace deliver new insights on aesthetics and offer important clues for the figures’ identity.

Dr. Alexander Nagel
Research Associate, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Promising Stories: New Research on Paints and Pigments in Ancient Persia and the Near East

The speaker will discuss the ongoing research about the polychromies of ancient Near Eastern palaces in modern Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. The illustrated lecture will introduce past and current approaches to the colourful world of Neo-Assyrian, Achaemenid, Qataban, and Sasanian palaces and sculptures.

Dr. Kenneth Lapatin
Curator of Antiquities, The J. Paul Getty Museum

Beyond Sculpture: Color in Greece and Rome
This presentation examines diverse polychrome objects, the materials and methods used to produce them, and some of the responses they provoked utilizing a combination of archaeological, art historical, and literary evidence. Just as sculpture was not white, other artifacts, ranging from paintings to hard stone gems and luxury textiles were brightly colored. Although not so well known as better preserved statuary, such artifacts provide a glimpse into the colorful world of the ancient Greeks and Romans

Jane Williams
Head of Objects Conservation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

A Portrait's Palette: A Technical Exploration of Roman-era Paintings from Tebtunis
This talk will describe what the collaborative study of a group of eleven mummy portraits excavated from the site of Tebtunis, Egypt reveals about workshop practices in this cultural crossroads.

This symposium celebrates the opening of exhibition, Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World, at the Legion of Honor from 28 October 2017 through 7 January 2018.

The symposium is sponsored by Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael Powanda, PhD.

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.



The Pervasiveness of Pigment in Antiquity

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater, Legion of Honor

Dr. Vinzenz Brinkmann, Dr. Kenneth Lapatin, Dr. Alexander Nagel, and Jane Williams

Please register online: Click Here


Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events


The Saga of Queen Zenobia and the Oasis City of Palmyra


A New Look at Ancient Nubia: Magic and Mystery on the Nile


On the Road from Persepolis


Deciphering Demons: Underworld Figures in Egypt and Etruria

Thank you for helping us acquire our first Egyptian royal portrait—a carved limestone relief of Ptolemy I Soter

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.

May 7, 2021 - August 29, 2021