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One of the oldest and largest collections of classical antiquities in the US is now on view in a new installation

Worlds intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropolgy

One of the oldest and largest collections of classical antiquities in the US is now on view in a new installation.

The collection of over 30,000 Greek, Etruscan, and Roman objects at the University of Pennsylvania Museum dates back to the last decade of the 19th century. Many were unearthed in excavations organised by the university in Italy (before legislation restricted the export of such works) whilst others were bought from dealers in Rome or came from subsequent gifts and purchases. Over 1,000 of these are now on display. Many artefacts of the Etruscans, the first great rulers of central Italy, came from tomb groups at Narce and Vulci and include the distinctive black fired “bucchero” pottery, as well as gems, bronzes and terracottas. Numerous Roman finds include statuary from the sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis on the shore of Lake Nemi, south of Rome, and objects excavated at Minturnae, north of Naples. A highlight is a military relief from a commemorative arch for Trajan, erected in AD 102, at Puteoli near Naples, with a defaced dedication to the assassinated emperor Domitian. The $3 million project was funded by the NEA, Samuel H. Kress Foundation and many others, both public and private.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as ‘Worlds intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 135 April 2003