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Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of Empire

February 14–May 31, 2015

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E-book | Catalogue | Boston Globe Review

The Roman Empire conjures images of sculpted marble emperors, elaborately engineered aqueducts, and conquering soldiers. Yet one reason for the empire’s success and longevity was its ability to accommodate different peoples, languages, and religions. This exhibition explores the lives and experiences of people living in the provinces through evidence gleaned from their material culture.

Focusing on the eastern Mediterranean between the 2nd and 6th century CE, a region already rich in ancient civilizations, the exhibition reveals how earlier cultural interaction intensified during the empire through access to trade networks and new technologies. On view is a vast array of paintings, mosaics, textiles, inscriptions, sculpture, glass, coins, and pottery, primarily from the Yale University Art Gallery, supplemented with loans from museums and private collections. Highlights include a newly restored floor mosaic and wall painting from Yale’s excavations at Gerasa and Dura-Europos. Together these objects tell stories of both public and private identities revealing the different ways people in the provinces reacted to being Roman.

Organized by the Yale University Art Gallery and the McMullen Museum of Art, Roman in the Provinces has been curated by Lisa R. Brody and Gail L. Hoffman. The exhibition has been underwritten by Sharon and Richard A. Hurowitz, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Yale University Art Gallery Exhibition and Publication Fund, Boston College, the Patrons of the McMullen Museum, and Leslie and Peter Ciampi.

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