In Rome on 24 May, Trustee John R. Clarke RAAR’95 Delivers the 2011 Friends of the Library Annual Lecture

One of the undisputed highlights of the Academy’s year in Rome is the 

Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library (FOL) Lecture. This year the lecture is dedicated to the memory of Christina Huemer, Drue Heinz Librarian Emerita, who served as a spirited leader of the AAR’s Arthur and Janet C. Ross Library for fifteen years (1993-2007), retiring just a few years before her untimely death on 12 November 2010. The thousands of artists and scholars touched by Chris Huemer’s learning, creativity and curiosity will remember her forever; a memorial service was held in in New York City on 3 February 2011.

The date of this year’s FOL lecture is Christina Huemer’s birthday, 24 May. Honoring Chris’ memory will be Professor John R. Clarke, RAAR’95, AAR Trustee and Annie Laurie Howard Regents Professor in The University of Texas at Austin. His topic? “The Story of the Villa ‘of Poppaea’ at Oplontis (50 B.C.-A.D. 79) and its Archives: Daybooks, Photographs, and Plaster Fragments.” Clarke’s lecture takes place Tuesday 24 May 2011 at 6pm 
at the Academy’s Villa Aurelia (Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, 1). 

Reservations are necessary by Friday 20 May; you can register here. On the evening of the event, please present your e-mail confirmation and a document of identification at the entrance of the Villa Aurelia.

The 2011 FOL lecturer John R. Clarke has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 1980. His teaching, research, and publications have focused especially on the visual culture of ancient Rome, on art historical methodology, and on contemporary art and criticism. He has published seven books. Two of these appeared in 2007 alone: Looking at Laughter: Humor, Power, and Transgression in Roman Visual Culture, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250 (University of California Press) and Roman Life: 100 B.C.-A.D. 200 (Abrams).

In all, Clarke has published also about 80 articles, chapters, and reviews, including several deriving from the Oplontis Project, for which he is co-director. The Oplontis Project is a collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii and the King’s Visualisation Lab, King’s College, London. You can read about the Oplontis Project here.

The Villa “of Poppaea” at Oplontis, interior

Clarke served on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association (1991-2001), and was its President from 1998-2000. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, serving, since 2004, as Vice-Chair of the Board.

John R. Clarke. Photo credit: Kirk Tuck

The current Drue Heinz Librarian of the American Academy in Rome is Rebecka Lindau; the President of the Friends of the Library is Michael C. J. Putnam, FAAR’64, RAAR’70, AAR Life Trustee, and Emeritus Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Department of Classics, Brown University.


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