Tuesday, April 15, 2014
As an Art History and Archaeology double major it was clear that I would study abroad from the moment I picked my majors. After all, one of the main reasons I picked archaeology was to travel. Evansville has a fantastic program for study abroad at Harlaxton in England, but it just didn't seem right for me. With my interests in Renaissance art and Roman archaeology, Italy and the program with AIFS seemed like the perfect match, and I have not been disappointed. Studying abroad in Rome has been the best experience of my life, and I am not exaggerating. The classes I took were Italian, History of the Italian Mafia, Drawing, Art and Culture in Rome, and Renaissance and Baroque Art. As part of the program, I spent two weeks in Florence taking an intensive Italian class. When I got to Rome I continued taking Italian so I could learn the language and be able to order and hold small conversations in Italian. The History of the Italian Mafia class has been very cool. It was interesting learning about the origins and history of the mafia as well as the Italian state and government. It has also been great learning how to draw in Rome. Almost every class is spent at a piazza or a famous monument like the Pantheon. My favorite classes have been my two art history classes, Art and Culture in Rome, and Renaissance and Baroque Art. Just like drawing, I have spent very little time in a classroom; instead we went to places like the Vatican museum or the Borghese Gallery and studied the works of art of the great painters in person. There is nothing quite as fantastic to an Art History and Archaeology major than seeing Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling or holding class in the Coliseum. Classes were held four days a week so I had three day weekends to go exploring around Rome or visiting a different city in a different country. I visited many cites in Italy like Venice, Florence, Palermo, and many others, as well as Paris France, Interlaken Switzerland, and Barcelona Spain. Most of the Italian visits were scheduled as part of the AIFS program. This adventure has been absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend when it comes to study abroad to follow your interests whether they lead you to Harlaxton England or Rome Italy.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
The University of Evansville received a generous donation from the family of Dr. Mary Ellingson including several original letters and a photo album detailing her experience on a pivotal archaeological dig in Olynthus, Greece in 1931. This stayed on a shelf for many years until Dr. Kaiser rediscovered it. He became fascinated with the material and studied it in order to write a book.
My job has been to preserve the material that the University has both electronically and in the library. I created a system to electronically store all of the transcripts of the letters, paperwork, and articles. I also scanned all the handwritten letters so that if anyone wanted to check my transcription they could. The original and photocopied documents were then each placed in an individual acid free folder for their protection and stored in a document box. There are two document boxes one for photocopies and another for originals. Each folder was labeled with three things. First, type of document: letter, article, or paperwork. Second, its date or the estimated date if one could be assigned to it. Lastly, it was labeled with a detail or title of the specific document.
My next task was to conserve the album. First the Browning Miller intern and I photographed each page to preserve the original context of the photos. Next we scanned each individual photo. All of these photos were then organized electronically in order for them to be accessed easily. The most crucial aspect of this project was putting the album back together. It was very important to obtain special materials to protect the original photos and paper. The end result was a fully protected album that will be around for future generations to study and enjoy.
Make sure you check out the Ellingson display, which will be set up in the university library cases from April 7th to April 28th. SAHA will be receiving a special presentation on the Ellingson artifacts on April 14th at 8pm. Go to Hyde 8 and we will begin from there!
Two years ago in Archaeology 320, Dr. Kaiser's Pompeii class, I became very interested in the city and the breadth of Pompeian Studies, especially in the public bathing facilities, about which I wrote my term paper. In doing research, there seemed to be a reasonable amount of study on the other complexes but a lack of information about the Forum Baths. They were frequently mentioned, but not in detail and their potential significance was overlooked. Following my time studying abroad at Harlaxton College, I got to visit the ruins before returning home. This was a bucket list item for me and I had fun finding the Cave Canem mosaic at the House of the Tragic Poet, marveling at the frescoes, and having a snack in Lucius Caecilius Iucundus' garden. Then, I visited the baths in person.
As the first baths discovered by early excavators, the Forum Baths have been written off as typical Republican baths. However, I came away questioning this interpretation. Many of the features suggest private architecture and emphasized the social aspect of bath culture over the health benefits. Returning to the States, I did some additional research on the Forum baths themselves and their circumstances. This research suggests to me that the Forum Baths of Pompeii were originally built by an entrepreneur (possibly a veteran following the Social War) and were a private establishment. This study is the basis of my Honor's thesis and I will be presenting it both at UE alongside the other Honors theses and at UNC-Chapel Hill, as part of the Eta Sigma Phi Classics Conference. I would like to have a better chronology nailed down, but I haven't found an appropriately detailed architecture report, so I guess I'll just have to go back!
Make sure you go see Amy's presentation on Monday, April 7, 2014 in Koch 100. Her presentation will start around 3:45pm, so make sure you get there in time for a good seat!
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Archaeology and Art major Miranda Amey has won three awards in the 52nd annual Student Art Exhibition at the University of Evansville. Three of her works, including Teagan, are on exhibit in the Melvin Peterson Gallery on the UE campus until April 7. Miranda won the following awards this year:
3rd Place Award of Excellence
2014 Gumberts' Award Winner
Judges' Choice Purchase Award
Monday, March 24, 2014
Presentation by Stephanie M. and the departments high school intern on the process of how they gone about conserving the material being used by Dr.Kaiser for his upcoming book. The emphasis will be on the material and the process of conservation, making it available to the public, and conserving the originals in proper ways. The material has been taken from the collection given to the university by Mary Ellingson's daughter.
SAHA will be going on a department trip to Saint Meinrad, Ferdinand, and the Lincoln Boyhood Home. This trip is free for students to attend.
At SAHA (The Society of Archaeology and the History of Art) tonight a presentation over frescos and their restoration was given by Miranda A. We were able to see different frescoes she has worked on restoring and learned about each step of the process. The presentation was attended by regular club members as well as art history students and even attracted a few non-majors. Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for other things SAHA is planning.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
My internship at the Reitz Home Museum was an eye opening experience about how a small house museum functions. By working there, it has given me valuable information about what goes into running a small, private museum. During my time at the Reitz Home, I was given numerous jobs which I believe will help me in the future. I gave tours for a few weeks, during the week as well as on weekends, up until the semester actually started. Most of these tours consisted of about five people and lasted for no more than an hour. The information I learned while giving these tours was important in better understanding the history of the home, and the people who came to see it. Once I began working in the offices I was given a multitude of jobs. My main job became dealing with the public media aspect. My jobs included, sending out newsletters via emailbrain, which kept subscribers up to date on all of the activities going on at the Home as well as in the local area; updating the Facebook page and website, making sure all of the information there was correct and presented in an appropriate manner; designing and updating invitations for the Guild’s events, which help the Home raise money; I also received some first hand experience working with PastPerfect, by looking up pieces in the catalog as well as documenting a couple of the items as well. After these main tasks were achieved I also helped Duane Myers, the coordinator, with a multitude of his tasks. I would pick up the mail, receive signatures on important documents from members, help set up the Carriage House for numerous events, answer phone calls about the Home, order much needed office and preservation supplies, and even helped take down exhibits and put up decorations for their Annual Victorian Christmas. Being an intern at the Reitz Home entails one to be able to multitask, work well with the local community, and be creative. Working here for a semester is worthwhile to those who wish to work with the public and learn about what goes on behind the scenes at a smaller museum. It was an experience which I enjoyed greatly, and which many others will as well.