Classical Convergences: Traditions & Inventions

December 16, 2014 – May 2015

In the Western world, Greek and Roman mythology has inspired centuries of literature, art and popular culture. We term such modern engagements with the past “Classical Convergences.” We see this influence in Hollywood’s epics about the Trojan War, Pompeii, and legendary heroes. We see it in modern literature that revises or reinvents the Classical tradition, such as James Joyce’s Ulysses, Rita Dove’s Mother Love, and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. And we see it in the artworks in this exhibition. Paradoxically, modern and contemporary writers and artists often turn to the Classical past to respond to the unpredictable changes of the present. This exhibition juxtaposes ancient and modern works from the Harn’s collection to complement our team-taught Honors course on Women Writers and Classical Myth (Spring 2015). Yet ultimately, “Classical Convergences” speaks to all artists and art enthusiasts who attune themselves to the present through the Classical past.

Co-curated by Marsha Bryant (English, UF) and Mary Ann Eaverly (Classics, UF), with Harn Curator Carol McCusker

This exhibition is made possible by The Dr. Madelyn M. Lockhart Endowment for Focus Exhibitions at the Harn Museum of Art


Unknown, [Acropolis] (detail), gift of William Zewadski
The London Stereographic and Photographic Company, Mars, Venus and Cupid, International Exhibition of 1862 (detail), gift of William Zewadski
Len Prince, [Male nudes, one holding classical vessel], n.d., gift of William Zewadski
Len Prince, Untitled,Virginia, from series Jessie Mann: Self Possessed, 2005, gift of William Zewadski
Unknown, Ange Camilli, n.d., gift of William Zewadski