notes from an alumnus written on illuminated aluminum

Rachel Osby registered at Shelby Center, Room 301.

David kingsbury(?) opened UAH alumni lunch-&-learn lecture.

Dr. Lillian Joyce.

UAH dept of art and history moved into Wilson Hall.

Available degrees:

  • BA in Art (studio art or art history)
  • BFA in graphic design, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking and sculpture.



Archaeology. Bay of Naples — former Roman navy/shipping center, home of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius.

Vesuvius volcano report issued like weather reports because of active volcanic activity. 217 BCE last known eruption. 5 Feb 62 CE — major earthquake before devastating eruption in 79 CE. Many eruptions since.

The Pompeii ruins are getting worse due to tourist funding reallocation by the government.

Negative spaces that were once bodies in the volcanic ash were filled with plaster to show what the bodies looked like as they fell, before they deteriorated.

Dr. J worked out of one the large four level houses built on the city wall overlooking the Bay of Naples.

Popular art on Pompeian walls: Abandonment of Ariadne by Theseus, picked up by Dionysus.

All the Pompeian houses had relatively plain exterior walls – luxury was displayed on the inside, created by artisans specialising in plaster, mosaic, painting, sculpting, etc.

Pompeii covered with both informal and professional “graffiti” artwork — 98 percent were commissioned for political campaigns. Ex: “vote my candidate for aidae.”

Around 10000 people lived in Pompeii — about 2800 political campaign paintings on walls in town.

Women wore wigs to emulate fashionable hairstyles on statues.

Many fresco portraits in Pompeii were cut out and displayed in Naples museum.

Running water in rich people’s houses and public fountains for everyone else.

“Cave canem” – beware the dog. Warning at doorway entrances where dogs were chained to keep people out because rarely were locked doors used. Dogs, like people, suffocated of poisonous gas exposure before buried in ash.

In homes, there was a public receiving area for men to get visitors and be attended by women and slaves.

Pretty garden scenes painted and created in mosaics on walls.

[Advert: the Department of Art and Art History and the Archaeological Institute of America, North Alabama Society’s lecture The Mosaics of Zeugma on the Euphrates, January 28, 7:30 p.m., Wilson Hall Theatre (first floor 001); presented by Dr. Katherine Dunbabin, Professor Emerita, from McMaster University. The lecture is free and open to the public.]

Alexander the Great was popular subject for mosaic tilework.

Nouveau riche land speculators came in, such as former slaves, and built elaborate palaces in Pompeii, collecting objects such as marble/stone water basins like some nouveau riche collect cars or velvet Elvis paintings.

Houses were rooms for entertaining and hosting business get-togethers — invitation only to visit gardens in back of house.

The kitchen was not a public gathering place — used by slaves only.

No bathroom per se, either. Public latrines and baths usually.

Bath house water temp was regulated, heated from below. Some bath houses had libraries and shops.

Two theaters, one with a fixed roof and one with a retractable roof (seated 3100-3500)

Amphitheater offered gladiator fights and wild animal hunts. Had retractable roof / awnings (seated 15000).

Romans had fast food eateries on street corners. Dozens of them in Pompeii.
Standing room only.

UAH sponsors Dr. J’s summer research.

Frescos are falling apart with time – exposure, polishing by guards, etc.

Sent from my iPad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s