New York.- By Vicki James Yiannias
There has been a cultural exchange between New York’s Greek American community and Fairfield University for twelve years.
“We are so glad that the friendship between the University and the Greek Consulate General has continued ever since 2004 with events at the Greek Consulate and here at Fairfield University,” says Dr. Katherine Schwab, Professor of Art History in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Fairfield University and Classical World, at the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University and the Curator of the Plaster Cast Collection of the University.
The relationship continues with invitations to the community to a not-to-be-missed exhibition titled Hair in the Classical World, at the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University. The scope of the exhibition is Aegean Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. a mix of objects along with vinyl wall photos greatly enlarging objects that cannot travel. One section is devoted to the Caryatids and Katherine Schwab’s Caryatid Hairstyling Project. Lenders are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the American Numismatic Society. See the program for affiliated activities at end of this article.
Dr. Schwab explained that Fairfield University’s very first connection with the Greek Consulate General was in 2004, when she attended an event at the Greek Consulate General, and presented then Consul General, Ambassador Catherine Boura with a letter from the University President, the Rev. Jeffrey Von Arx, S.J., inviting Mrs. Boura to the exhibition The Acropolis Restoration Project: Photographs by Socratis Mavrommatis, (organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture). Ambassador Boura came to that event and attended the dinner following at which time she and the President had an opportunity to talk.
Ambassador Boura co-hosted a reception with the University President at the Consulate General in spring 2007,and then in September 2007 she again attended the opening at Fairfield of the exhibition, The Creative Photograph in Archaeology, in September 2007. It was at this time that the Fairfield University President met Mrs. Boura again at the opening and dinner at Fairfield University.
“Each Consul General since then has been to at least one event at Fairfield University. We have greatly enjoyed collaborations with Ambassador Georgios Iliopoulos, first the exhibition of my Parthenon drawings in the winter of 2014 where we could launch the tour which continues in the U.S., and the second and most recent collaboration was the Photographs of the Caryatid Hairstyling Project last spring, said Dr. Schwab.
In 2009 Dr. Schwab spearheaded The Caryatid Hairstyling Project at Fairfield University, where she is Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, to test the viability of their hairstyles by engaging student volunteers as models and a professional hairstylist to recreate the individual hairstyles of the Caryatids. The project conclusion was that the Caryatid’s hairstyles were not an artistic convention but real hairstyles of the day.
Exhibitions she helped organize at both the Greek Consulate General in New York City and at the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC, were Photographs of the Caryatid Hairstyling Project and her Parthenon metope drawings in the exhibition An Archaeologist’s Eye: Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab.
She also presented a lecture, “Investigating the Surface: the Parthenon Metopes and Caryatid Hairstyles”, presented at the Embassy of Greece in Washington, DC in collaboration with the American School of Classical Studies, under whose auspices she was able to carry out her research in Athens. (Grayscale scans of the drawings can be seen in the Parthenon Gallery of the new Acropolis Museum: http://tinyurl.com/yd87m4w.
“I have enjoyed getting to know many people from the Greek American community first through the Onassis Cultural Center events and exhibitions, then with the Greek Consulate General in New York City over several years,” said Dr. Schwab.
Some key dates for activities related to the Hair in the Classical World exhibition at the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University:
Tuesday, October 6: Opening reception 6 – 8 p.m. (open to the public and free)
Wednesday, October 7: exhibition opens to the public during regular museum hours
Wednesday, October 14: 3 p.m. co-curators Marice Rose and Katherine Schwab give a gallery talk.
Tuesday, October 20: 5 p.m. Faculty led Panel on History and the Culture of Hair
Wednesday, October 28: 4 p.m. Faculty led Panel on Science and Health of Hair
Friday, November 6: 12:30-4:45 p.m. Symposium on Hair in the Classical World, followed by a Reception.