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Materials Lab Workshop: Making Faces

Portrait of a woman with brown eyes, black hair, and a white garment on a rectangular wooden panel.
Portrait of a woman, Egypt, probably from Philadelphia (near er-Rubayat), second half 2nd century CE. Support: native Egyptian sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus), willow wood (Salix species); binder: animal glue; pigments: bassanite, anhydrite, alunite, red and yellow ochres, bone black, carbon black, madder lake, red lead. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 1939.111.

Workshop

In-Person
Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This workshop accompanies the exhibition Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt: Facing Forward, which invites viewers to ask more about the complicated histories of these portraits and the people they depict. The exhibition explores what can be learned about the artistic process and current condition of these works through scientific analysis and technical research conducted by staff in the Harvard Art Museums’ Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies. Funerary Portraits is on view through December 30, 2022.

In this two-part workshop, join us first in the exhibition galleries with conservators Kate Smith and Georgina Rayner for a close look at the portraits and learn what our curators, conservators, and scientists have discovered about them. Then take that experience to the Materials Lab, where you’ll make your own version of an ancient tempera painting using some of the same materials and techniques used by Roman-period artists. This workshop aims to honor and remember the woman in the ancient portrait we will copy, and to celebrate the relationship between artist and sitter that allowed the woman’s essence to be captured so powerfully.

Led by:
Kate Smith, Conservator of Paintings and Head of Paintings Lab, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies
Georgina Rayner, Associate Conservation Scientist, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies

No prior experience is necessary. This workshop will take place in the Materials Lab, Lower Level.

$15 materials fee. Registration is required and space is limited. Registration for this workshop will open on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at this link, and participants will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. To join the waitlist, please email am_register@harvard.edu. Minimum age of 14.

Please see the museum visit page to learn about our general policies for visiting the museum.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at am_register@harvard.edu at least 48 hours in advance.