Podcast #9: Living in a Material World: Jennifer Stager and Technicolour Statues

Photo of Dr. Jennifer Stager
Dr. Jennifer Stager

Dr. Stager’s Academic Pages

Personal Website

Johns Hopkins Profile

Antioch Recovery Project

On this episode of the Peopling the Past Podcast, we talk with Dr. Jennifer Stager, an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of History of Art, whose research interests include color and materiality, feminisms, multilinguality and cultural exchange, ancient Greek and Roman medicine, and classical receptions.

Join us, as we delve into Dr. Stager’s exciting research on polychromy in the ancient Mediterranean, especially the use of colour on Greek statues.

Interested in learning more? Check out these articles by Dr. Stager:

The Unbearable Whiteness of Whiteness

Review: Recology SF Artists in Residence

Review: Asli Cavusoglu and the Place of Stone

“The Materiality of Color in Ancient Mediterranean Art” in Rachael Goldman (ed.) Essays in Global Color History: Interpreting the Ancient Spectrum. New Jersey: Gorgias Press (2016): 97-119.

A Mother’s Odyssey” Eidolon (August 31, 2018)

Looking for a transcript of this episode? Click here.
Dr. Stager's children and her collaborator Leila Easa’s children outside of the Sara Vanderbeek show at Altman Siegel (Minnesota Street Project, SF)
Dr. Stager’s children and her collaborator Leila Easa’s children outside of the Sara Vanderbeek show at Altman Siegel (Minnesota Street Project, SF)
Eye from a Bronze Statue, 5th - 2nd century B.C., Marble, obsidian, glass, and copper; 2.1 × 4.9 cm (13/16 × 1 15/16 in.), 84.AI.625. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
Eye from a Bronze Statue, 5th – 2nd century B.C., Marble, obsidian, glass, and copper; 2.1 × 4.9 cm (13/16 × 1 15/16 in.), 84.AI.625. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
Pair of eyes, probably Greek, 5th century BCE. or later.
Bronze, marble, frit, quartz, and obsidian. Metropolitan Museum of Art 1991.11.3a, b
Various vials of pigment from the Forbes Pigment Collection. Harvard University Art Museums.
Forbes Pigment Collection. Harvard University Art Museums. Photo by author.
Garden sculpture with inlaid eyes from the J. Paul Getty Villa, after the Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum.
Garden sculpture with inlaid eyes from the J. Paul Getty Villa, after the Villa dei Papiri, Herculaneum. Courtesy Ellen M. Rosenbery and Tahnee L. Cracchiola, J. Paul Getty Museum
Peplos Kore (Around 530 BC. Marble from Paros (Acr. 679) New Acropolis Museum, Athens) and a “kore” (Thia Schuessler) reflected in the pupil of an eye.
Peplos Kore (Around 530 BC. Marble from Paros (Acr. 679) New Acropolis Museum, Athens) and a “kore” (Thia Schuessler) reflected in the pupil of an eye (Photo by author in Los Angeles)
Polychrome stickers of the Riace Bronzes.
Hardeep Dhindsa’s Redbubble polychrome Riace stickers. Image @_HardeepDhindsa
Statue A, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia
Statue A, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia 
Statue A, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia
Statue A, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia 
Statue B, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia
Statue B, Riace Bronzes. Currently in the  Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia 
Additional Reading

Sarah E. Bond “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color” Hyperallergic (June 7, 2017)

Hariclia Brecoulaki. “Precious Colours in Ancient Greek Polychromy and Painting: Material Aspects and Symbolic Values” Révue Archéologique, (2014): 1-36.

_____La peinture funéraire de Macédoine. Εmplois et fonctions de la couleur, IVe-IIe siècles av. J.-C. (Athens 2006).

Jens Daehner, Kenneth D. S. Lapatin, and Ambra Spinelli. Artistry In Bronze: The Greeks and Their Legacy : XIX International Congress On Ancient Bronzes. First edition. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute, 2017.

Edilberto Formigli. “Le techniche del colore nella statuaria antica in bronzo” in Formigli, ed. Colore e Luce Nella Statuaria Antica In Bronzo: Indagini Archeometriche e Sperimentali. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2013, 1-31.

_____“Alterazioni superficiali dei bronzi di Riace”, dans Due bronze da Riace. 1984.

Milette Gaifman. “Statue, Cult and Reproduction” Art History, 29:2 (2006): 258-279.

Adeline Grand-Clément. “Poikilia” in Destrée, Pierre ed., A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 406-421.

Katerina Ierodiakonou.  “Empedocles on Colour and Colour Vision” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 29 (2005): 1‐37.

Thomas Katsaros and Constantinos Vasiliadis. “Polychromy in Greek Sculpture”, ed. Olga Palagia Handbook of Greek Sculpture. Walter   de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG (2019): 690-726.

Carol C. Mattusch. “Archaic and Classical Bronzes” in Olga Palagia ed., Greek Sculpture: Function, Materials and Techniques. London, 2006.

_____ “Changing Approaches to Classical Bronze Statuary”

Lyra Monteiro. “Power Structures: White Columns, White Marble, White Supremacy” Medium (October 22, 2020)

Michaela Sassi. “Perceiving Colors” in Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray eds. A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 262-273.

Margaret Talbot. “The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture” The New Yorker (October 22, 2018)

Gods in Color: Golden Edition

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