St. Thomas begins archaeological lecture series, 'Looking @ Greek Vases,' Sept. 27

St. Thomas begins archaeological lecture series, 'Looking @ Greek Vases,' Sept. 27

What can an archaeologist tell you about the Greek vase you might see at your local museum? Find out at "Looking @ Greek Vases," a series of art history lectures beginning next week at the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. H. Alan Shapiro, the W.H. Collins Vickers Professor of Archaeology at The Johns Hopkins University, will give the series' inaugural presentation, "The Athenian Akropolis: A Vase Painter's Perspective," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in Room 126 of John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts. The lecture will examine what vases can tell us about the activity of the religious and cultural center of Athens.

Calyx krater (a Greek vessel for mixing wine and water) by the Kekrops Painter, late 5th century B.C.E.

Photo credit: H. Alan Shapiro.

Shapiro, former chair of The Johns Hopkins University Department of Classics, has been at the forefront of developing new approaches and insights into the meaning and cultural context of Greek art. A classical archaeologist with a particular interest in Greek art, myth, and religion in the Archaic and Classical periods, Shapiro has written numerous studies of Greek vase iconography, including Personifications in Greek Art (1993) and Myth Into Art: Poet and Painter in Classical Greece (1994). His interest in the interrelationship among art, religion, and politics is best represented in his book Art and Cult under the Tyrants in Athens (1989). He also has edited several anthologies, including most recently The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece (2007).

Before coming to Johns Hopkins in 1997, Shapiro taught at numerous universities, including Columbia, Tulane, Stevens Tech, and Canterbury ( New Zealand). As a visiting professor, he has taught at Princeton and Munich universities, and in 1992-93 was Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

The free lecture series, sponsored by St. Thomas' Graduate Program in Art History and the University of Minnesota Classical and Near Eastern Studies Department, will continue with talks Dec. 6, 2007, and Feb. 28 and April 24, 2008.

For more information, call the UST Graduate Art History Program Office, (651) 962-5640, send e-mail to  or visit the Art History Department Web site at