Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens accompanies the digital resource on ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums. The project to catalogue the museums’ bronzes was initiated several decades ago by David Gordon Mitten, Suzannah Fabing (Doeringer), and Jane Ayer Scott, and has benefited from the support of numerous people. The names of the more than thirty catalogue authors, many of them former graduate students in Harvard’s Department of History of Art and Architecture and Department of the Classics, will appear in the digital resource. The museums owe them a large debt of gratitude for their contributions, which have been essential to the project in general.
At the Harvard Art Museums, many staff members, research assistants, and interns have helped with the realization of the digital resource and this essay volume. Since joining the museums in 2010, Lisa Anderson, Frederick Randolph Grace Assistant Curator of Ancient Art, has taken the lead as the editor of the digital component, coordinating work on all aspects of this vast undertaking. Adam Aja, Alexis Belis, Seán Hemingway, Rebecca Katz, Kurt Prescott, Aimée Francesca Scorziello, John Sigmier, Jennifer Stager, Kathryn Topper, Alicia Walker, and, at an earlier stage, Jane Weider assisted with the preparation of lists, object research, and initial cataloguing; editing; the compilation, cleanup, and entry of data; scanning of photographs and drawings; and various other tasks. Amy Brauer, Diane Heath Beever Curator of the Collection and former Diane Heath Beever Associate Curator of Ancient Art, was instrumental in securing grants and managing the project as the individuals in charge of the catalogue changed over the years. Curatorial and staff assistants Karen Manning and Monique Goodin, and earlier on Carol Stewart (Harward), supported the project in manifold ways; Karen Manning handled the logistics of the workshop on which this volume is based.
In the museums’ Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, director Henry Lie, research curator Francesca Bewer, conservator Anthony Sigel, project conservators Carol Snow and Nina Vinogradskaya, and conservation fellows Julie Wolfe, Tracy C. Richardson, and Molly McNamara examined and wrote technical reports for all of the ancient bronzes included in the cataloguing project, as well as took x-radiographs and samples of select pieces. Patricia Cornwell Conservation Scientist Katherine Eremin carried out x-ray fluorescence analysis on almost five hundred objects, and conservation administrator Kathleen Kennelly helped coordinate all these efforts. Josef Riederer, former director of the Rathgen-Forschungslabor, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, analyzed samples taken from more than six hundred bronzes. Heather Lechtman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered advice on metallurgical matters. Their contributions and continued engagement have been critical to the success of this project.
Managing editors Evelyn Rosenthal, Marsha Pomerantz, and Micah Buis and creative director Steven Waldron have overseen editing and design; Cheryl Pappas has helped with editing and Michael Ricca with the logistics. Jeff Steward and Alexis Lenk have provided valuable help in developing the concept of the digital resource. Photographer Katya Kallsen and director of media resources David Mathews worked hard to provide high-quality digital images, and Isabella Donadio assisted with image orders. Further catalogue photography was taken by Junius Beebe III and Tony Filipe, and approximately one hundred objects were meticulously drawn by Catherine Swift Alexander.
I would like to thank the authors of this volume for a stimulating exchange of ideas and for so ably addressing complex issues in the short space of an individual chapter. I am very grateful to the in-house and outside readers for their helpful comments, and to editor Charles Dibble for his careful reading and significant improvements of the text. At Marquand Books, I want to thank Melissa Duffes, Susan E. Kelly, Jeff Wincapaw, and other contributors to the production of this book.
Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, and former director James Cuno have supported the bronze catalogue project as it progressed, halted, and changed shape over the years. I warmly thank them for their continued encouragement. I would also like to thank Lila Kanner, Thomas Woodward, Sara Lischynsky, and Laurie Rebac in Institutional Advancement, as well as former grants manager Rebecca Wright. Last but certainly not least, I owe a debt of gratitude to my predecessor David Gordon Mitten, James Loeb Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology and George M.A. Hanfmann Curator of Ancient Art, Emeritus, without whom Harvard would not have become a center for the study of ancient bronzes—and who hired me as a research assistant for the bronze catalogue in 2000.
The comprehensive cataloguing project and this printed volume could not have been realized without the generous financial support from a number of foundations and friends of the museums. The Harvard Art Museums gratefully acknowledge the receipt of three grants from the Getty Grant Program: a 1992 grant to survey the collection of ancient bronzes, a 1995 grant for the conservation treatment of ancient bronzes, and a 1999 grant for the cataloguing of the collection. The National Endowment for the Arts supported manuscript preparation with two grants, in 1994 and 1998. Substantial support for the publication has also come from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harvard Art Museums Mellon Publication Funds, which include the Edward A. Waters Publication Fund and the Henry P. Mcllhenny Fund. Funding for the public lecture and workshop that facilitated planning Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens was provided by the M. Victor Leventritt Fund. The Loeb Classical Projects Fund has paid for several research assistant positions.
Led by Sol Rabin, a number of friends, colleagues, and former students of David Mitten have helped fund the bronze project in the last stages: Roger and Ann Avery, Michael and Josephine Bennett, Thomas Brunner, Lansing and Julia Fair, James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell, William Lee Frost, John J. Hermann, Jr. and Annewies van den Hoek, Kenton and Christel Ide, Evangelos and Theodora Karvounis, Eric Kaufman, Arielle Kozloff, Judith Lerner, Roy and Patricia Mottahedeh, Susannah Fabing Muspratt, Winifred and Leroy Parker, and Wellington F. Scott III. I am grateful for their contributions and hope that this volume will allow them to share in some of the enthusiasm that David Mitten has brought to the subject of ancient bronzes.
George M.A. Hanfmann Curator of Ancient Art
Head, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art