Parthenon Frieze

Rocks, Paper, Memory

Wendy Artin’s Watercolor Paintings of Ancient Sculptures


About the Curator

Christopher Ratté

Christopher Ratté is Professor of Classical Archaeology in the Departments of Classical Studies and the History of Art at the University of Michigan, and Director and Curator of Greek and Hellenistic Collections at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. He is a specialist in the study of Greek and Roman architecture and urban development, and has participated in and directed numerous archaeological field projects, especially in Turkey. His first, vividly remembered encounter with the Venus de Milo on a trip to Paris at the age of nine helped him to find his vocation.

About the Artist

Wendy Artin

Photo by Florence Gardes

Wendy Artin is an American painter who divides her time between Italy, France, and America. She received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, and studied for two years at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She has spent a great deal of time traveling and living abroad, both as a child and as an adult, always drawing and painting in streets and museums. Her work is figurative and classical, exploring the timeless interaction of light with surfaces such as the human figure and Roman ruins.

She has exhibited in Boston, Paris, New York, Milan, London, and Rome, and her work has been featured in numerous publications, including L’Art de l’Aquarelle, American Artist Magazine, Artscope, Pratique des Arts, Arts Magazine, Artsmedia, Elle Decoration, and Cote Sud. She is an Artistic Advisor and has been a Visiting Artist several times at the American Academy in Rome.

About the Web Designer

Julia Falkovitch-Khain

Julia Falkovitch-Khain is a web developer with a background and special interest in archaeology. She designed a number of online exhibitions for the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. When she first visited the Rocks, Paper, Memory exhibition, she was fascinated by the beauty of the paintings and their interplay with the museum artifacts; attending the Curator Tour inspired her to create an online version of the show.

The Exhibition Catalogue


Catalogue cover

Curator’s Acknowledgments

I would like to thank all my colleagues at the Kelsey Museum for their contributions to this exhibition and catalogue. Special thanks are due to Scott Meier, who designed the exhibition; Michelle Fontenot, who arranged all the loans; Sebastian Encina, who supervised photography of the Kelsey objects; Elaine Gazda, who carried a tube full of paintings from Rome to Ann Arbor; my other curatorial colleagues, Janet Richards, Margaret Root, and Terry Wilfong, who helped with the selection and description of objects (also in his capacity as editor of the Kelsey Museum Publication Series); Suzanne Davis and Caroline Roberts, who restored the bronze Aphrodite from Karanis; Catherine Person and Sarah Mullersman, who put together an exciting program of public events to accompany the exhibition; Lorene Sterner, who managed publicity; Peg Lourie, who edited and designed the catalogue; and Dawn Johnson, Associate Director of the Museum, who handled administrative and financial matters with the greatest aplomb. I am also grateful to graduate students Jenny Kreiger, who helped to get the exhibition started; Jana Mokrisova, who assisted in the selection of objects; and Katherine Larson, who wrote the catalogue entries for the Kelsey objects and provided indispensable help in many other ways. The exhibition was supported by the Kelsey Museum and by a generous grant from the Merops Foundation, for which I am very grateful.

I would like to join Wendy Artin in expressing my thanks to all the lenders who made this show possible, and to Russ Gerard, for helping to arrange transport of paintings from Boston to Ann Arbor. Above all, I am grateful to Wendy Artin, for her spirited collaboration and for the pleasure of spending so much time with her paintings.

Artist’s Acknowledgments

I would like to express great appreciation to Christopher Ratté, for making this exhibition happen, for his curiosity and intelligence, and for his fearless questioning. I am particularly grateful for the generosity of the collectors who have loaned their paintings to the Kelsey Museum, reuniting so many of my favorite pieces. I am forever grateful to Russ Gerard of Gurari Collections, for his years of professionalism, unwaivering support, and amazing eye. I thank Karl Kirchwey for the glorious exhibition and celebration of Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Hoyem, Diana Ketcham, and Eric Fischl for the Stone from Delphi project. Thank you to Adele Chatfield-Taylor and to the serene and stimulating oasis of the American Academy in Rome. I would also like to thank the kind and tolerant guards at the British Museum. Thank you to Pierre Passebon and Valérie Lalonde for orchestrating my début as a painter of Rome. A very special thanks to Stephen Harby, Henry Crapo, Alessandra Batassa, and Annalisa Mauro. I would also like to thank all of the people with whom I have been lucky enough to have long and wonderful conversations about nostalgia, memory, antiquity, and art: Jessica, Ginny, Ian, Benoit, André, Peter, Elaine, Jonathan, and Nicolai. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have the support of my wonderful family. Finally, I would like to thank my greatest supporter, my beloved Bruno.