Acropolis Museum caryatid coiffures come to life at Fairfield University

Media Advisory


What: Acropolis Museum caryatid coiffures come to life at Fairfield University. Six student volunteers will be filmed as their hair is styled in the elaborate female coiffures that are on display among the Erechtheion marble caryatids (or maidens), which stand in place of columns in the south porch. The exercise will help determine whether or not the sculptors invented an artistic convention or used real hairstyles.

Female hairstyle was a distinctive symbol of status worn by, and expected of, women of high social rank and affluence when they appeared in public settings such as religious festivals in ancient Athens.

When: Sunday, April 26, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Where: Fairfield University, Canisius Hall 306

Who: Dr. Katherine Schwab, associate professor of art history whose expertise includes Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology, was given access, by the assistant director of the Acropolis Museum, to the original caryatids during installation (including the fragmentary Kore F which has not be seen in decades), in order to take photographs for the purposes of this project.

Dr. Schwab will be producing a DVD of the project that will be presented at a peer-reviewed archaeology conference to demonstrate the results of this investigation and to solicit feedback for additional information and comment. A copy of the DVD will be shared with the curators at the New Acropolis Museum, where five of the original caryatids are displayed, and another copy of the DVD will be shared with the curators in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum, where the sixth caryatid resides. The DVD will also be used in Art History and Classical Studies classes here at Fairfield, and potentially in the Bellarmine Museum in conjunction with the installation of plaster casts.

How: Funded by the Fairfield University Faculty Research Committee and the Classical Studies Program.

Project Contact: Dr. Katherine Schwab,

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on April 23, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 317

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