Archive for February, 2010

Architecture Firm KieranTimberlake Tops All-AAR Field in Design for New US London Embassy

February 28, 2010

KieranTimberlake US London embassy design, view from east. Rendering by Studio amd

The Philadelphia architectural firm KieranTimberlake—founded in 1984 by Stephen Kieran (FAAR’81), FAIA, and James Timberlake (FAAR’83), FAIA—has won a high-profile competition to design the new American embassy in London. Their proposal is for a secure and environmentally efficient glass cube, with its own water and energy sources, set atop a colonnade in a landscape on the south Thames embankment with a pond and pathways open to the public.

James Timberlake termed it “an urban building in an urban park.” The new embassy is scheduled to break ground in 2013 and be completed by 2017. You can view KieranTimberlake’s illustrated description of their winning design here. For this weblog’s January 2009 profile of KieranTimberlake, see here. (more…)


For 2010 Jerome Lectures at AAR, Harvard Classicist Kathleen Coleman Recreates World of Roman Child Poet

February 21, 2010

2010 Jerome Lecturer Kathleen Coleman, Professor of Latin, Harvard University

Thomas Spencer Jerome (1864-1914) was a socially prominent American lawyer and afficionado of Roman history who lived on Capri from 1899 until his death. In his will he endowed a series of lectures to be jointly administered by the University of Michigan and the American Academy in Rome, and delivered at both institutions. The Jerome Lectures soon emerged as one of the most prestigious international venues for presenting important work in Roman history and culture, as well as on topics in historiography and the philosophy of history. The University of Michigan Press has long published the revised proceedings.

This year’s Jeromes are the 39th in the series. They feature Kathleen Coleman, Professor of Latin in the Department of the Classics at Harvard University. Her topic is “Q. Sulpicius Maximus, Poet, Eleven Years Old”, with four lectures and a seminar at the American Academy 16-25 February, followed by a similar program at Ann Arbor 8-18 March 2010. Here Coleman examines the evidence of an unusually interesting inscribed funerary altar from the end of the first century AD to shed light on any number of broad themes in ancient poetry, rhetoric, education, agonistic competition, and sculptural art, as well as the modern reception of the Roman imperial past. See the end of this post for a full synopsis of all five installments in the series. (more…)

In Rome, AAR Resident Leonard Barkan Explores the Place of Food Culture in Renaissance Art and Thought

February 16, 2010

Leonard Barkan reading from his Satyr Squarein Rome’s Piazza dei Satiri. Photo: Nick Barberio

Since late December, and through early April, Leonard Barkan is the American Academy in Rome Scholar in Residence in History of Art. He is one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of comparative literature, and his numerous writings have earned wide praise for their lucid analysis of pressing issues in literature, art history, and the interstices of these two disciplines, especially for the Renaissance.

Barkan is Class of 1943 University Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, with membership also in Princeton’s English and Art and Archeology Departments. He previously taught at Michigan, Northwestern and NYU. Leonard Barkan’s many prizes include election to  membership in a number of learned societies, most recently a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. (more…)

At the American Academy in Rome this April 16-17, a Conference on Greek Baths and Bathing Culture

February 16, 2010

Panorama of baths, Morgantina, Sicily

On 16-17 April 2010 at the American Academy in Rome, an ambitious international conference will re-examine the evidence for Greek and Greek-style baths. The conference GREEK BATHS AND BATHING CULTURE: NEW DISCOVERIES AND APPROACHES promises to revise our understanding of the significance of an extraordinary range of ever-increasing archaeological material. That includes the earliest evidence from Greece itself, with developments down into the later Roman imperial period, where Greek and Greek-style baths continued alongside Roman complexes. Co-organizing the conference are Tokyo-based independent scholar Sandra Lucore FAAR’07, and Monika Trümper, Department of Classics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

One major contribution of the conference is that it will examine baths and related evidence in areas outside the Greek mainland—a traditional focus—including the Aegean islands, Cyprus, Egypt, southern France, and Sicily and south Italy. Here the archaeological evidence, especially from the Hellenistic period, shows much that was innovative and experimental in architectural design, decoration and construction technology. Plus the evidence from Sicily (especially Syracuse, the home of Archimedes) and south Italy is crucial to any discussion of the origins of Roman baths. Many larger topics naturally emerge from this discussion of the archaeology of Greek baths, including ownership and patronage, social customs, hygienic and curative aspects, and gender, religious and ethnic issues. (more…)

In Rome, It Snowed

February 12, 2010

Friday 12 February 2010: Rome today saw its first snowfall since January 2005, and its most memorable in 25 years. Umbrellas came out, as did everyone’s cameras. Ciampino Airport was closed, there was traffic chaos in the center, and a host of events saw cancellation. Here are how things looked from the vantage point of the American Academy.. (more…)

At the Academy in Rome, Dutch artist Roma Pas exhibits “Strangely Great” through 25 February

February 8, 2010

AAR Affiliated Fellow Roma Pas at the “Strangely Great” exhibition opening 5 February

“Over the library door of the American Academy I found this text saying: THE THINGS THAT / MUST BE ARE SO / STRANGELY GREAT.” And with this, Roma Pas introduces her exhibition of recent, untitled works—a product of her first five months at the AAR as Royal Dutch Institute Affiliated Fellow.

“The works that I’m showing at the galleries”, Pas explains in her statement for the show, “are the results of an artist-in-residence period. They react to features like inscription, ornament, ruin, archeology, wisdom and greatness and attempt to connect to the contemporary media landscape.” (more…)

Updating the Academy: the Latest Number of the SOF News

February 8, 2010

SOF News cover from “Valentino a Roma: 45 Years of Style,” a show at Rome’s Ara Pacis

“This issue of the SOF News”, writes newsletter Editor James L. Bodnar (FAAR’80), “has, in the tradition of Janus, a group of articles that look to both the past and the future.” Members of the Academy’s Society of Fellows will already have received the fall 2009 issue in their mailboxes; and everyone can download a digital copy of this semiannual publication here.

In this number of the SOF News, the article Soft Infrastructure, by Guy J. P. Nordenson (RAAR’09) and Catherine Seavitt Nordenson (FAAR’98), “looks at the historic role of flooding in Rome and the potential for future flood control in New York”. Richard Meier’s Ara Pacis—A Drive-By Recollection, by Michael Gruber (FAAR’96) “recalls the initial design process for the Ara Pacis Museum and considers the reactions to the completed building.” James Bodnar interviews AAR Andrew Heiskell Arts Director Martin Brody (RAAR’02), and poet Sarah Arvio (FAAR’04) in Master and Torso offers recent work that arose out of her Lectureship at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts. (more…)