Bonna Wescoat, professor of classical art and archaeology at Emory University, will give the first Archaeological Institute of America lecture of the academic year on Tuesday, October 22, at 7 pm at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park. Her lecture is titled “Seeing is Believing: Nashville Parthenon Sheds New Light on the Visibility of the Parthenon Frieze.”
Her presentation is based on an experiment she conducted with Emory graduate students to test the visibility of the Parthenon Ionic frieze by recreating and installing part of the west frieze, in particular, the northwest corner, on the Nashville Parthenon. Using painted canvas panels, Wescoat and her students tested the visibility with both photography and surveys of passersby in Centennial Park in November 2012. They addressed the longstanding question: Why was such an ornate frieze located in a seemingly obscure position high on the outside wall of the Parthenon?
A video documenting this experiment was produced in conjunction with her graduate seminar on ancient Greek architectural decoration. “The results will amaze and delight you, giving you the chance to see a portion of our Parthenon that was never completed,” said Barbara Tsakirgis, professor of classical studies and secretary of the Nashville Archaeological Institute of America.
Wescoat holds degrees from Oxford University (D.Phil., M.Phil.), the Institute of Archaeology, University of London (M.A.), and Smith College (A.B.). Her research interests are ancient Greek art and architecture, particularly sacred architecture, and digital modeling to investigate the interaction of landscape, architecture, and ritual experience.
In addition to The Temple of Athena at Assos (Oxford 2012), she has recently completed Samothrace: volume 9, The Monuments of the Eastern Hill, which will be published by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Her work now centers on the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, where she first worked as a graduate student years ago.
Free and open to the public, the lecture is sponsored by the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and Vanderbilt’s department of classical studies. Those who plan to attend the lecture are encouraged to call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat.