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Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:37 am
by Aldus Marius
From Richard of Legio XX, Maryland:

"Pompeii and the Roman Villa" is a major exhibit at the National Gallery of Art now through March 22, 2009. While not military, there are major pieces: artifacts, jewelry, frescos, statues, mosaics, and other really great stuff. Well worth the visit! The museum store has one of the better selections of Roman books that I've seen, much better than the Pompeii exhibit in Chicago.

Web site for the exhibition:

Photos aren't permitted, but there are plenty of details that I think I'll sketch next visit. There is a gladiator's helmet there, the thraex I think.

In fide,

Re: Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:20 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
I will get there as soon as I can.

It stinks that this place never allows photos. Sure, I can understand not wanting all those bright flashes around the artifacts.
But even non-flash photography? My wife and I took flash pictures and video when we visited Independence Hall this year. And not to mention all those ancient churches in Israel.


Re: Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:48 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Magistri -

I would note that after its time in Washington, DC, the exhibition will move to Los Angeles - so we on the West Coast (how many is that? We fit on one hand) can see it without paying $500+ for a plane trip.
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, May 3–October 4, 2009.

Better make my plane reservation right now. And Marce, let us know how the exhibition is, if you get there.


Re: Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:59 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Addendum: Vidistisne hanc videoclipam? Bellae sunt imagines, etsi alisquis particulas aliquas narrationis negaret....

Have you seen the videclip they have? Beautiful photos - even if someone might argue with some details of the narrative....


Re: Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:26 am
by M Sempronia Pulla
Salvete Omnes,

I've been to the exhibit twice now (technically three times, but the second attempt the museum was packed and you had to wait in line to get in which is not the normal procedure --it was during the holiday break--) and it's really, really good. Much better than the Rome exhibit the Smithsonian had some time ago. The format is such that you can really get close the many of the objects, and they have a lot to look at and study. If you can get to the exhibit in D.C. or whenever it comes to your area, I highly recommend doing so before it's gone, preferably in the morning when there are less people. Unlike the Smithsonian exhibit that had a room from Pompeii behind glass, you can actually get close to a couple villa walls from Pompeii to study the details of the murals. If you're very familiar with Pompeii, you might recognize some of the murals and statues and things that are displayed. There are basically three sections to the exhibit, and even when it switches over to the modern eras, it doesn't get boring like other exhibits do. The theme of the exhibit seems to be more culture/lifeways/people than death and destruction and anything else. I can't vouch for the narratives or anything else as I don't pay attention to those, generally (some good history student I am 8) ). All I knew is that a lot of people were standing in front of things with a phone to their ear for a while, making it hard to get close to objects if a group had purchased the phones at the same time.

As for the gifts they offer, they're nice, but not exclusive to the exhibit. I think the reason why they don't allow any photography is because they sell thick books about the exhibit (meaning they want you to buy the book). Though, the Gallery doesn't allow photography in a lot of traveling exhibits it has so it could just be the museum. For some reason, they were selling a lot of Roman cookbooks. I can't name them for you, but they were like "Roman food for the modern kitchen" kinds. The book that I ended up purchasing and am very grateful that I had was called Roman Life by John R. Clarke, who's written other books concerning Rome. It's big and full of photographs I haven't seen before. Everything is told from the point of view of different Romans and it even comes with a CD that tours a villa (haven't looked at it yet). Several Pompeii-specific books were there that I've also seen in bookstores, and books like the biography of Augustus were there. If you can remember the title and author you will probably be able to get them cheaper on Amazon or at Borders online if you have a Borders Bucks card that gives you regular coupons. For kids there are little Caesar metal figurines and keychains and other knick-knacks and a nice small, though Greek-focused, mythology guide. Also jewelry and stuff. Those items you can find online as Roman gifts, though at a much higher price. In the main museum gift shop towards the West Building at the National Gallery location, I was able to find some $3 light blue guidebook about Pompeii that I think said was from Italy? I haven't had the chance to read it yet so that's about as much as I can say. It seems interesting if you probably won't ever have the chance to visit Pompeii for yourself. Aside from that, calender, poster, purses, magnets, coasters and such.

If you can get to it, do go. I'm going to be trying to go at least one more time before it's gone. It has to be my favorite museum exhibit in a very long time. If you can't go, visit the website. DC art museums tend to show a lot of the highlights to their exhibits online. Sometimes, they even show everything that's there. For instance, below Pompeii is an exhibit featuring gorgeous paintings of Native Americans by someone with the last name Brush. You can see all of the paintings and things on the website for it (which if you are into that subject, I also highly recommend).

Bene Valete!

Re: Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibit, Washington DC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:03 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
I'm still planning on getting to LA in May 2009 when this exhibit will arrive there.