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Exhibiting ancient Rome in Australia

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Australia has an enduring fascination with ancient Rome. It is part of our collective imagination, a fixture on primary, secondary and tertiary syllabi, and provides a frame of reference for our government, architecture, and art. Over the past decades, a number of Australian cultural institutions have fed the Australian appetite for ancient Rome. through travelling exhibitions drawn from European collections. Rome: City and Empire, on loan from the British Museum, currently on display at the National Museum of Australia is one such exhibition. Hundreds of objects - from priceless treasures revealing the opulent lives of elite Romans to everyday objects reflecting the lived experience of women, children and slaves - allow visitors to explore the wide geographical, chronological and cultural spread of the empire. This talk examines the practical and creative logistics behind the delivery of this exhibition.

Dr Lily Withycombe has been a curator at the National Museum of Australia since 2014. She has broad research and curatorial interests including social history, gender, the reception of ancient histories in contemporary Australia, printmaking and comics. Her PhD focused on the religious topography of Rome, undertaken at the University of London. Lily is particularly interested in Roman art and architecture, as well as illustrative practices, spanning ancient and modern traditions.


Image Credit:
Pilaster capital
Rome, Italy, about 118–128 CE, marble
1805,0703.278
© Trustees of the British Museum, 2018. All rights reserved

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Nicholson Museum

Manning Road

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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