Unknown (Roman); Head of a Warrior, ca. 300 C.E.; mosaic. Gift of Sir Henry Rawlinson through Dwight W. Marsh, Class of 1842, by exchange. (41.5.4)

Labeltalk 2011: Art of the Ancient World

March 12, 2011 - September 5, 2011

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) is pleased to present Labeltalk 2011: Art of the Ancient World. Labeltalk is an ongoing exhibition series that celebrates the rich teaching potential of art across the disciplines. Each exhibition presents artwork from the collection along with a publication that includes written responses by Williams faculty from different departments. The emphasis on multiple perspectives on art is an important part of WCMA’s philosophy as a teaching museum.

Opening shortly after a major reinstallation of the permanent collection galleries, Labeltalk 2011: Art of the Ancient World highlights the ancient collection. Seven objects were selected to demonstrate the breadth of eras, cultures, media, and subject matter that can be found in the collection. Focusing on ancient art is particularly timely. The museum received a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to make digital images of the entire ancient art collection. Many of these objects are being made public for the very first time through a web module that will be available online along with the rest of WCMA’s collection of nearly 13,000 objects. This new public database ensures that the collection is accessible to all.

The museum is grateful to the 19 professors who generously shared their expertise and creativity for Labeltalk 2011. These professors represent 17 different departments at Williams, including American studies, anthropology, art, biology, classics, comparative literature, computer science, dance, English, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and theatre.

Labeltalk 2011 was organized by Elizabeth Gallerani, Coordinator of Mellon Academic Programs. It is the eighth in a series originally created in 1995 with the support of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project supports the museum’s mission to advance learning through lively and innovative approaches to art.