Antiquity & America explores three centuries of the ancient Mediterranean in American culture. In this timeline, the impact of antiquity on Bowdoin’s campus and at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is traced across the years.

On the left, explore the study of ancient world on Bowdoin’s campus, authored by Darien Gillespie ’24. On the right, discover the role of ancient art and artifacts in the development of the the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.


Bowdoin College Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Portrait of a young James Bowdoin III wearting a blue suit, holding his finger in a book.
1773 James Bowdoin’s European travels

James Bowdoin III (1752–1811), scion of a prominent Boston family and son of Massachusetts’s second governor, graduated from Harvard College in 1771 and soon set off for Europe. His travels took him first to Naples and then north through Italy, France, and to London. As a young American in Europe and in good Grand Tour fashion, Bowdoin cultivated an interest in art and antiquity and made a point to take in “the works of ye best Masters” as he would later write to Thomas Jefferson.

Bowdoin’s travelling companion, Ward Nicholas Boylston (1716–1771), kept a diary of their travels, which included visits to the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as a hike up Mount Vesuvius. While in Naples, the pair dined with the British Ambassador Sir William Hamilton (1731–1803), a prominent collector of antiquities, especially vases.

Unknown Artist, Portrait of James Bowdoin III, ca. 1770-1775, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Mrs. Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn, 1826.1. 

The Laws of Bowdoin College handwritten in cursive on an aged sheet of paper.
1794 Founding of Bowdoin

When Bowdoin College was founded in 1794, classics—the study of ancient Mediterranean culture— played an important role in both admission to the College and the education received while in attendance. The texts required for admission spanned a wide range of prose and poetry across both Greek and Latin, representing some of the best-known works of literature.

The bylaws of the College stated that applicants to the College must be able to “read, construe, and parse Cicero’s select orations, Virgil’s Aeneid, and the Greek Testament, and to write Latin grammatically.” While at Bowdoin, students would continue to study Greek and Latin during their first two years. Throughout this time, they would have weekly recitations in both languages. In addition, religion played an important role in the students’ lives. At that time, there were mandatory Sunday services, during which the New Testament would be read in Greek in order to further reinforce the students’ studies. Their Monday morning recitations, in light of this, derived from the Greek New Testament. For the next century, this focus on classics would remain a central tenet of the Bowdoin education.

A handwritten page from 1815 listing admittance requirements for Bowdoin College. From Laws, Rules, etc. of Bowdoin College, [Mss. John Abbott], Vol. 1 (1808–1817), Board of Trustees: Votes and Records, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

Alternate view of Statue of a reclined female wearing a toga, on display between marble columns. Statue sits on a block carved with warriers and snakes.
1804–1808 James Bowdoin III Serves as Minister to Spain (in Paris)

In November 1804, James Bowdoin III (1752–1811) was appointed by the administration of Thomas Jefferson as Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain and sailed for Europe the following year. Before he departed, Bowdoin wrote Jefferson and offered his services in “procuring for you any specimens of ye Arts, either in sculpture or painting.” He went on to elaborate on his previous travels in Italy and encounters with Old Masters in addition to offering Jefferson a copy of an ancient sculpture of “Cleopatra” (later determined to be a depiction Ariadne) already in Bowdoin’s possession.

Bowdoin never took up residence in Madrid, however, as Spain was then under Napoleonic rule, and his ministerial duties could be better accomplished in Paris. During his time serving in Paris, Bowdoin sent home several crates holding nearly three dozen paintings. He intended to acquire marble busts from Italy as well—an aspiration that does not appear to have been realized. It seems likely, though, that during his time in France he acquired some of the many drawings that he eventually bequeathed to the College. He also acquired books for his library, which included volumes by ancient authors and on antiquity and ancient art.

Unknown copyist after an ancient work, Ariadne (sculpture), 1771-1798, Marble. Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, 1928-4.

Painting of a Roman general bowing before a seated figure and a woman while a group of soldiers looks on. Smoke fills the sky from a distant battle.
1811–1813 Bequest of James Bowdoin III’s Collection of Paintings, Drawings, and Library

James Bowdoin III (1752–1811) willed his art collection and his library of some three thousand volumes to Bowdoin College upon his death in 1811. These collections, formed through Bowdoin’s extensive European travels and active collecting in America, included more than seventy oil paintings, eleven prints, and 142 drawings in two bound volumes. At the time, Bowdoin’s art collection was one of the largest and finest in America and was the first such collection donated to an American college.

The drawings arrived first in 1811, followed shortly thereafter by the paintings in 1813. The paintings were installed in Massachusetts Hall until 1820, after which time they decorated a gallery in the old wooden chapel. Early visitors included artist Gilbert Stuart, who traveled to the campus in the 1820s to create copies of his portraits of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Both the artworks and the library reveal Bowdoin’s lifelong interest in the ancient world, with paintings and drawings of classical subjects, ancient ruins, and antique sculptures, as well as volumes by ancient authors and treatises on classical art and architecture.

John Smibert, The Continence of Scipio, ca. 1726, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of the Honorable James Bowdoin III, 1813.10.

College Laws printed on a page in a book.
1817 Classics Study Continued into Third Year

By 1817, the faculty at Bowdoin had determined that only two years of classics was not enough. In 1817, the Course of Study was updated to include an extra year of reading and writing in classics. At the time, the faculty of the College consisted of one professor, three tutors, and a librarian. Of these, two faculty members had positions relating to the study of the classical languages.

All students—which numbered under a dozen—followed the same course of study, consisting mostly of classics, math, philosophy, religion, and some sciences. It would be another fifty years before the concepts of majors and concentrated studies were introduced at Bowdoin.

A page from the 1817 Bowdoin bylaws describing the course of study. From Laws of Bowdoin College [1817–1876], Board of Trustees: Votes and Records, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Shadowy portrait of a man with gray hair and a long beard, dressed in a long black suit jacket.
1821 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Matriculates

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), Class of 1825, is best known as an American poet and writer. He attended Bowdoin College from 1821–1825, during which time classics were a standard part of every student’s education. Like all students, Longfellow was expected to be able to read and write in both Latin and Greek even before his admission to the College. This classical education influenced him beyond his time at Bowdoin.

In 1867, Longfellow completed the first American translation of Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, the Italian epic poem in which Dante is given a tour of hell by the Roman poet Virgil. In addition to the inclusion of Virgil, Dante’s poem follows the classical tradition of dividing his poem into separate cantos that form the story. Longfellow demonstrates how his contemporaries would have been expected to be familiar with classical texts even if they had not studied classics directly.

George Healy, Portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1862, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Mrs. Annie Louise Cary Raymond, 1921.5. link

Drawing of a serious-looking man with glasses and Victorian-era suit.
1824 Alpheus Spring Packard Becomes Professor of Languages and classical literature

Alpheus S. Packard Sr. (1798–1884) was an important figure among early faculty at the College, where he taught for over four decades. Beginning his employment at Bowdoin in 1819, Professor Packard was originally a tutor of languages, geometry, and logic. In 1824, he became the Professor of Languages and Classical Literature, replacing Samuel P. Newman. Packard continued to teach classical language and literature for the next forty years until 1865.

During this time, he taught students such as writers Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)—both Class of 1825—and future Maine governor and Bowdoin president Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Class of 1852. In 1865, Packard went on to serve the college in a number of other capacities including librarian (1869–1881) and acting president (1883–1884).

J.C. Buttre, Portrait of Alpheus S. Packard, 1882, engraving. From Cleaveland, N. and A. S. Packard. History of Bowdoin College: with biographical sketches of its graduates from 1806 to 1879, inclusive, (J.R. Osgood & Co., Boston, 1882), Public Domain. 

Black and white photo of a wall of framed artworks, hung side-by-side and extending up to the ceiling.
1852 Sophia Walker Art Gallery in Chapel, Boyd Gift

The paintings bequeathed by James Bowdoin III (1752–1811) were originally installed on campus in Massachusetts Hall where they decorated the walls of the philosophy chamber. There are few recorded references to the paintings until the mid-nineteenth century, when their care and display became a matter of concern, especially to Theophilus Wheeler Walker (1813–1890), cousin of then Bowdoin president Leonard Woods (1807–1878). Walker donated funds for the establishment of an art gallery as part of the design of a new chapel then underway.

The Sophia Walker Gallery, named after Walker’s mother, was completed in 1852 and became one of the first art galleries on an American campus. Perhaps inspired by this important milestone, that same year George William Boyd (1791–1860) donated at least twenty paintings to the College, then the second largest gift of artworks after Bowdoin’s. Like Bowdoin, Boyd shared in the classicizing tastes of the period, and his collection includes works that refer to the ancient world.

“Chapel, Interior, Sophia Walker Gallery”, Local Call Number 1326, Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Sculptural relief panel featuring a winged man with a long beard and a helmet, holding a small bucket.
1860 Assyrian Reliefs

During the mid-nineteenth century, along with excavators and historians, missionaries were invested in the rediscovery of Nimrud (in present-day Iraq) because its existence provided support for the validity of Biblical history: Nimrud—ancient Kalhu—was thought to be Calah, a city mentioned in the book of Genesis built immediately following Noah’s flood. One of these missionaries happened to be Dr. Henri Bryon Haskell (1830–64), an 1855 graduate of the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College. Dr. Haskell was able to acquire five Northwest Palace reliefs from archaeologist and world traveler Austen Henry Layard that were shipped to the United States for a total cost of $728.17.

On their arrival at Bowdoin in 1860, the five Assyrian reliefs were installed in the entrance to the Chapel. A sixth relief fragment depicting the head of the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II was given to the Museum by Edward Perry Warren in 1906. The original plan for the Walker Art Building did not incorporate the reliefs, and they were installed in the basement of the museum building until well into the twentieth century. They were later installed in the rotunda by Philip Beam (1910–2005) shortly after he assumed directorship of the museum in 1939. In 2007, when the Museum reopened to the public after a major renovation, the reliefs were given a prominent new location in the Assyrian Gallery, facing Park Row and the Brunswick Maine Street through a new glass exterior wall.

Relief panel with apkallu (winged spirit), Mesopotamian, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), Iraq, ca. 883–859 BCE, gypsum alabaster. Gift of Dr. Henri Byron Haskell, Medical School Class of 1855, 1860.2.

Image of text handwritten in cursive on a sheet of lined paper.
1870 Students Propose Creation of Majors

The 1870 “Report to the Visiting Committee” documents the Bowdoin College students’ request for more specialized educational tracks rather than the generalized course of study that had been standard until this point. This change meant that students would have a choice to reduce their study of classics while at the College. While this change may have enabled the College to grow, it also contributed to a steady decrease in the influence of classics on the curriculum as whole.

A handwritten page from the 1870 “Report of the Visiting Committee” mentioning students’ request for divergent paths of study in Board of Trustees: Votes and Records, 1828–1888. George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

Long haul with several plaster cast statues lining the walls, as well as framed artworks.
1870 Plaster Casts on Campus

During the nineteenth century, plaster casts from ancient marble or bronze sculpture contributed to educating students on the classical world. Beginning in the late 1870s, Professor Henry Johnson (1855–1918) raised funds for a cast collection at Bowdoin with an 1879 appeal to the “Friends of Bowdoin College” highlighting the “universally admitted” role of art in providing a “constant educative and refining influence within the College.” On this basis, Johnson proposed a cast collection in order that “the opportunity may be afforded of studying the most famous masterpieces of genius.”

The Class of 1881 purchased a copy of the Marble Faun of Praxiteles, especially meaningful on campus as the inspiration for the title of the 1860 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864), Class of 1825. Franklin Simmons (1839–1913), the Maine sculptor living in Rome, aided this commission. In 1882, William W. Thomas (Class of 1860) presented five monumental casts, writing in a letter of the “refining and educative power that masterpieces of art are certain to exert on students of recent as well as ancient times.” The collection expanded to include the Laocoön, the Dying Gaul, Primaporta Augustus, Niobe and her Daughter, the Artemis of Versailles, and the Apollo Belvedere, many of which are visible in early views of Bannister Hall and the Walker Art Building.

“Chapel, Picture/Sculpture Gallery”, Local Call Number 1347. Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Photograph of a several young men at desks in a classroom, watching a professor lecture.
1879 Creation of the Sewall Greek and Latin Prizes

In 1879, the Sewall Greek and Latin Prizes were awarded for the first time to Bowdoin students. These two prizes are named for Jotham Bradbury Sewall, a Bowdoin Professor of Ancient Languages and Literature from 1865–1877. Notable recipients of these prizes include former president of Bowdoin College Kenneth C.M. Sills, former Bowdoin Professor of Classics Nathan Dane II ’37 (see the timeline entry for 1946), and former United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen ’62. To this day, the prizes are awarded annually to the member of the sophomore class who sustains the best examination in the respective language in the Department of Classics. All recipients can be found on the Department of Classics’ website and on the placards that continue to hang in the Woodruff Room in Sills Hall.

Photograph from 1963 of Professor Nathan Dane II teaching Latin in the Woodruff Room in Sills Hall. A board listing the winners of the Sewall Latin Prize is visible in the background. From “Nate Dane’s Latin Class,” local call number nb6353-6, Bowdoin College Archives. Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Portrait of a man with white hair, glasses, and a long mustache, seated in a chair and holding a book.
1881 Henry Johnson Appointed Curator of Collections

Henry Johnson (1855–1918), Bowdoin College Class of 1874, was central to Bowdoin’s early art collection and the construction of the Walker Art Building. A literary scholar, Johnson studied in Europe until 1877 before returning to Bowdoin as instructor of modern languages. His promotion to professor in 1881 coincided with his appointment as Curator of the Museum of Art (1881–1887, 1892–1914).

Notably, Johnson published Bowdoin’s first Descriptive Catalogue of Bowdoin College Art Collections in 1895. In it he explained how he helped build the “collection of casts from the antique,” believing it to be an “important addition to our means of classical instruction.” Many of these sculptures appeared in the Chapel’s Bannister Hall. He worked with Mary Sophia (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah Walker (1844–98) during the design and construction of the Walker Art Building and corresponded with the artists working on the Rotunda’s murals. He served as Director of the Museum of Art from 1914 until his death in 1918.

Joseph B. Kahill, Portrait of Professor Henry Johnson, 1916, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of Friends of Professor Henry Johnson, 1917.3.

1887 Frank Edward Woodruff

Frank Edward Woodruff (1855–1922) came to Bowdoin College in 1887 as the Professor of the Greek Language and Literature. During his time at the College, Professor Woodruff was the first faculty member to hold the position of the Merrill Professor of the Greek Language and Literature, established in 1909 in honor of Joseph E. Merrill (1832–1909), a Boston bookseller, Bowdoin benefactor, and member of the Class of 1854.

During his thirty-five-year tenure, Professor Woodruff worked alongside Kenneth Charles Morton Sills (1879–1954), a fellow classics professor at Bowdoin (1907–1946) who later served as Bowdoin’s President (1918–1952). The legacies of both men are reflected in the naming of Sills Hall, the home of the Department of Classics, and the Woodruff Room therein.

Portrait of Frank Woodruff.  Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

1891 Walker Sisters Commission the Walker Art Building

When the Walker sisters, Mary Sophia (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah (1844–98), commissioned a new art building for Bowdoin College in 1891, they embraced the neoclassical style, known at the time as the American Renaissance. Architect Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909), of the New York firm McKim, Mead, and White, grounded his design in classical elements including a dome, a loggia, and refined proportions.

Ancient motifs continued across the building’s façade with a sculptural program that included lions from the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy, full-length casts of the orator Demosthenes and poet Sophocles, and busts of Hermes of Praxiteles, the bearded Dionysus, and Homer. Like the plaster casts in the Chapel’s Sophia Walker Gallery that would soon move to this elegant new building, these copies expressed the enduring value of antique sculpture in an American education.

Left, Robert Gordon Hardie, Portrait of Miss Harriet Sarah Walker, 1900, oil on canvas, 1904.4 ; Right, Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, Portrait of Miss Mary Sophia Walker, 1895, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Bequest of Mary Sophia Walker, 1904.3.

An ancient, ornately-decorated, two-handled, greek vase. The black background is decorated wth assorted brownish-orange floral motifs, male youths,satyrs and a winged figure on the base and neck.
1893 First Greek and Roman antiquities enter the collection

During the completion of the Walker Art Building, the Walker sisters, Mary Sophia (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah (1844–98), turned their attention to forming a collection worthy of the new space. While the Walker sisters already possessed a significant collection of art themselves, their collection did not include antiquities.

Recognizing the importance of ancient works in the Museum collection, the Walker sisters consulted Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928), one of the most prominent American collectors of the period and the purchasing agent for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a connection that would continue to bear fruit in the years ahead. At the time, Warren advised the sisters on the purchase of an ancient nestoris (an elaborate jar for serving wine) from Southern Italy by the Primato Painter. The Walker sisters also acquired a large group of Roman glass vessels from a dealer in New York on behalf of the Museum.

Attributed to the Primato Painter, Nestoris (two-handled jar), Greek, ca. 350–325 BCE, terracotta, red-figure. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of the Misses Harriet Sarah and Mary Sophia Walker, 1893.1.

Black and white photo of the classical-style museum building with columns in the front and a domed rotunda roof in its center.
1894 Walker Art Building Completed

Once their museum building, constructed in memory of their uncle Theophilus Wheeler Walker, was underway, the Walker sisters devoted themselves to acquiring art to build the College’s collection. These objects represented world art and cultures, from Asia to Europe. Among their most significant gifts were the four murals commissioned for the monumental rotunda. They decided on allegorical representations of great centers of artistic achievement in Western art—Rome, Athens, Florence, and Venice—commissioned by leading American artists.

Elihu Vedder’s (1836–1923) depiction of Rome, called The Art Idea, faced visitors as they entered through the original door. In the painting, the embodiment of Rome or Nature, the source of all inspiration, is seen holding the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. The other murals depict Venice (Kenyon Cox [1856–1919]), Athens (John La Farge [1835–1910]), and Florence (Abbott Thayer [1849–1921]). Theophilus Walker is memorialized in a bronze bas-relief sculpture, another ancient form, by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931), the American sculptor known for his monumental work. During dedication ceremonies on June 7, 1894, Martin Brimmer,  president of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, affirmed “conspicuously and deliberately” the importance of art in the humanities studies offered at Bowdoin.

“Walker Art Building, Southwest View”, Local Call Number 2944. Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Image scan of a page from a book with heading "Bowdoin College"
1895 Greek Admissions Requirement Altered

On May 27, 1895, Bowdoin faculty voted to allow a substitute requirement for Greek in the College’s admission process, officially making Greek unnecessary for admission. Instead, advanced attainment in Latin was accepted. This was the culmination of a debate that had already been going on for several years. At this point in time, the centrality of classics was shifting in American culture.

Then president William DeWitt Hyde notes in his “Report of the President” that he had argued for the addition of a substitute requirement three years prior. According to Hyde’s report, “every college in New England to-day offers a four years’ course for admission to which Greek is not a requisite, except three colleges in Maine—Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby.”

A page from the 1895 Report of the President documenting President Hyde’s opinion on the removal of the Greek requirement. From Bowdoin College’s Annual Report of the President. 4. https://digitalcommons.bowdoin.edu/presidents-reports/4 

Alternate view of Four sculptural fragments including a mummy mask and three panels with intricate carvings and patterns in gold leaf.
1897 George Warren Hammond donates first Egyptian Antiquities to Collection

In 1897, shortly after the opening of the Walker Art Building, George Warren Hammond (1833–1908) donated more than one hundred objects to the College. A curious cross-section of the ancient Mediterranean, his donation included lamps, figurines, funerary artifacts, coins, and glass. Among the objects were the first Egyptian artifacts to enter the collection, including an important mummy mask and panel coverings, scarabs, and shabtis.

Hammond wrote that he was offering his collection in “the hope and expectation that they will be a nucleus that will induce others to send their collections, already made or to be made in the future, to Bowdoin College.” Within a few years, Hammond’s hopes would be fulfilled by Dana C. Estes (1840–1909).

Mummy mask and panels, Egyptian, ca. 4th–2nd c. BCE, cartonnage (linen, papyrus, resin adhesive, plaster) with gold leaf, paint. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of George Warren Hammond, Honorary Degree 1900, and Mrs. Hammond, 1898.42.1-.4.

Bird-shaped terracotta vessel with feet and one small handle on its back.
1902 Dana C. Estes donates Cypriot art

In 1902, Maine-native Dana C. Estes (1840–1909) made the first of three gifts to the Museum, a collection of 152 antiquities. Like the collection donated by George Warren Hammond (1833–1908), the antiquities donated by Estes comprised a curious mix of art and artifacts from all corners of the ancient world. Among the ancient objects, however, were a large and important group from ancient Cyprus that included ceramic vessels, lamps, and figurines.

The Cypriot art in Estes’s collections can be traced to the excavations of Alessandro Palma di Cesnola, amateur archaeologist, Sardinian-American diplomat, and younger brother of Luigi Palma di Cesnola, the famous first director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many of Alessandro’s discoveries were sold in a series of London auctions between 1883 and 1892 as the Lawrence-Cesnola collection. As the founding partner of prominent Boston publisher Estes and Lauriat, Estes had the means to travel extensively, and his business often brought him to London where he likely took part in one or more of the Lawrence-Cesnola auctions. Estes would go on to give Bowdoin a second gift of more than fifty antiquities in 1905 and bequeathed the College a further group of antiquities upon his death in 1911.

Askos in the shape of a bird, Cypriot, Cyprus, 500–300 BCE, terracotta, bi-color ware. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. Dana C. Estes, Honorary Degree 1898, 1902.60.

White marble portrait head of a man with short curly hair and a beard, mounted on a black base. The nose is partially broken off.
1906 Warren’s First Gifts to the Museum

Having first advised the Walker sisters on the acquisition of antiquities for the new museum, in 1906 Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928) began donating ancient Mediterranean antiquities to the Museum of his own accord. In this year, Warren wrote a letter “To the Professor of Fine Arts” offering the Walker Art Museum a gift of three major sculptures, including a Parian marble portrait of Emperor Antoninus Pius and a marble relief of a Sleeping Heracles.

These early gifts remain among the most prized objects of the Warren collection, which would grow to include over five hundred objects. At this point in his life, Warren was spending part of each year at his Fewacres estate in Westbrook, Maine, and was no longer a purchasing agent for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Portrait head of Emperor Antoninus Pius, Roman, ca. 138–150 CE, Parian marble. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree 1926, 1906.1.

Letterhead with typed text titled "Reveries of a Latin Professor," with abundent handwritten marginalia.
1909 Paul Nixon

In 1909, Paul Nixon, who had majored in classics at Wesleyan and was later educated at Oxford, came to Bowdoin, where he would teach until 1954. Entering as an Assistant Professor of Classics and History, he was named Winkley Professor of the Latin Language and Literature in 1946. His legacy is still evident today through the Nixon Lounge named in his honor, located in the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.

It is further cemented through the inclusion of his papers in the Bowdoin Archives, among which is a collection of unpublished poems that draw on classical myths in order to comment, often satirically, on contemporary issues. One such poem is the following about prohibition: Though Bacchus doesn’t count for much/ And holds no high position, He loves his folks, his Pa and Ma,/And Aunty Prohibition.

Paul Nixon, “Reveries of a Latin Professor” [with editorial marks], Paul Nixon Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Image scan of a page from a book with heading "Bowdoin College"
1911 Latin Admissions Requirement Removed from Bachelor’s Degrees

In 1911, the Latin requirement for admission to the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law programs was removed in favor of more generalized foreign language requirements. This change marked the first of several revisions to program requirements over the next thirty years. Greek or Latin was still required of candidates for a Bachelor of Arts degree.

A page from the 1911 “Report of the President, describing the changes made to admissions requirements. From Bowdoin College’s Annual Report of the President. 20.

1915 A Turning Point in Warren’s Donations?

In a 1915 letter to Professor Henry Johnson (1855–1918), then Director of the Walker Art Museum, Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928) described a large “sending” of over one hundred antiquities from his Lewes House collection in England. This gift was the largest yet to the College and nearly doubled the number of antiquities Warren had gifted previously; it marks the beginning of a period when Warren made regular and carefully selected gifts of antiquities (or “sendings” as he called them) to the Museum.

Warren noted that the list of antiquities being sent to the Museum in 1915 had been prepared by John Beazley (1885–1970), then a budding scholar of classical art who would go on to become one of the most eminent figures in the field in the twentieth century. In the same letter, Warren elucidated his pedagogical motivations that prioritized providing “illustrative material for study,” declaring that students “must have specimens at hand” to accompany their readings in ancient history and archaeology.

Letter from E. P. Warren to Henry Johnson, Director of the Museum, 1906. Bowdoin College Museum of Art Archives, Edward Perry Warren Files.

Ancient coin with imperfect edges, featuring a carved profile of a face.
1918 Henry Johnson Bequest of Ancient Coins

On his death in 1918, Professor Henry Johnson (b. 1855) left Bowdoin College a collection of nearly fifty ancient Greek and Roman coins. Professor Johnson, former Curator of the Museum of Art (1881–1887, 1892–1914) and Director (1914–1918), had played a major role in building the classically inspired Walker Art Building and the growth of its ancient collections.

During his tenure, he oversaw gifts of antiquities from the Walker sisters—Mary Sophia (1839–1904) and Harriet Sarah (1844–98)—in 1894, George Warren Hammond (1833–1908) in 1898, and Dana C. Estes (1840–1909) in 1902 and 1905. Through an extensive correspondence over the years, Johnson formed a relationship with the Museum’s most important donor of ancient art, Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928), who had first contacted Johnson in 1906. While Johnson was first and foremost a scholar of modern languages (he served as the Longfellow Chair throughout his time at the College), he nevertheless had an abiding appreciation for the art of the ancient Mediterranean and understood it to play an important role in the Museum and College curriculum. This appreciation was no doubt founded on his experience of the classical curriculum as a student at Bowdoin, as well as the prominent role ancient art played in Gilded Age America. In addition to the ancient coins bequeathed to the College in 1918, a second bequest came from Henry Johnson’s daughter in 1958, Helen Johnson Chase. This bequest included not only ancient coins but also Roman and Egyptian antiquities that attest to the Johnsons’ wide interest in the ancient world.

Tetradrachm of Egypt, ca. 323-285 BCE, silver. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of the Board of Governors, Collection of Henry Johnson, Class of 1874, 1919.58.6.

Photograph of a plaque listing the winners of the Goold Classical Prize, from 1930–1983.
1922 Creation of the Nathan Goold Prize

The Goold Prize was created in memory of Nathan Goold (1846–1914), a resident of Portland, Maine, and the librarian of the Maine Historical Society. Although the Prize was created in 1922, it was not awarded until 1930, when Herbert H. Fernald ’30 became the first recipient. This prize is awarded annually to the member of the senior class who has the highest standing in Greek and Latin studies. Much like the Sewall Prizes, recipients of the Nathan Goold Prize are listed on a board kept in the Woodruff Room of Sills Hall, dating back to Herbert H. Fernald in 1930. A comprehensive list of all recipients of the Nathan Goold Prize can also be found on the Department of Classics website.

A photograph depicting a board listing the then winners of the Nathan Goold Prize. Photo by Darien Gillespie. 

A course listing featuring various Greek classes.
1923 First Classes Taught Fully in Translation

In 1923, Professor Henry Bronson Dewing taught the College’s first two fully translated classes: “Greek Literature” and “Athenian Tragic Drama.” Each focused on reading Greek literature but, for the first time in the history of the College, it was not necessary to have any prior knowledge of the Greek language. Support for classics was declining and this was an effort to attract more students who no longer had to know Greek to be admitted to the College. This set a precedent for future years, as classes in translation became standard for the Latin and Greek departments.

A College catalogue from 1923 which explicitly notes that no prior knowledge of the Greek language is required for two classes about Greek history and culture. From Bowdoin College Catalogue (19231924) Bowdoin College Catalogues, Course Guides, and Academic Handbooks. 202.

1928 Warren’s Bequest

Edward Perry Warren’s (b. 1860) donations—or “sendings” as he called them—continued until he passed away on December 28, 1928. His death was noted on the frontpage of the Bowdoin Orient on January 16, 1929, in an article which singled out the Warren antiquities as the single most important collection in the Museum and “a lasting memorial to a man who spent his life in the study of things classical and whose purpose was to encourage an interest in these things among our youth.” His final gifts to the Museum were a group of over one hundred antiquities, which entered the collection in 1930.

Ultimately, his donations formed a representative collection of over five hundred objects from the ancient Mediterranean world, namely terracotta vases, statuary, jewelry and other luxury arts, figurines, ephemera, coins, and fragments. While his primary interests were Greek and Roman works, Warren’s broad awareness of, and fascination with, the ancient world as it existed beyond the Mediterranean basin is evident in his select donations of Egyptian and Mesopotamian objects. The collection that Warren formed for the Museum in the first decades of the twentieth century remains, a century later, one of the best and most comprehensive college collections of antiquities in America.

Frontpage article on Edward Perry Warren in The Bowdoin Orient, January 16, 1929 (Vol. LVIII, No. 21). link

Black and white photograph of a man in a military uniform.
1933 Stanley Casson

Stanley Casson came to Bowdoin in 1933 as Visiting Professor of Classical Archaeology on the Tallman Foundation, making him the College’s first faculty member devoted to the discipline of classical archaeology. Professor Casson played several important roles to the development of classics at Bowdoin in his brief time at the College, including publication of ancient gems and cameos that had been gifted by Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928) to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Casson later served as a member of the “Monuments Men” during World War II, working to preserve historical art and architecture from war-induced damages. During his time at Bowdoin, he opened the door for future professors of archaeology to be hired. Not long after Professor Casson taught at the College, Henry Johnson would create an official chair for a professor of archaeology, expanding upon the visiting position that Professor Casson had held.

Stanley Casson in his war uniform. From John L. Myers “Stanley Casson: 1889-1944.” The Annual of the British School at Athens 41 (1940): 1–4.

1934 Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren Classical Collection of Bowdoin College published

In 1934, the first catalogue dedicated to the ancient collection at the Museum was published, expanding on the previous gallery guide published in 1930, which included only a selection of antiquities from those donated by Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928). The catalogue focused on the Warren Collection and was compiled by Stanley Casson, then a Fellow of New College and Reader in Classical Archaeology at Oxford. Work on the catalogue, no doubt occasioned by Warren’s recent death and final bequest in 1930, was undertaken in 1933–1934 while Casson served as Visiting Professor of Classical Archaeology on the Tallman Foundation. The catalogue was meant to serve visitors as a guide to the Warren collection, then installed in the rotunda (or sculpture gallery) and, in some cases, in the Boyd Gallery. Notably absent from the catalogue was the Warren vase collection, which was then being worked on by J.D. Beazley (1885–1970) for an intended catalogue that was never published.

Stanley Casson, Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren Classical Collection of Bowdoin College, 1934.

Typed document titled "Classical Department Major Examination," stamp-dated 16 May 1936.
1936 Greek and Latin Departments Combine

In 1936, the Greek and Latin departments, previously distinct, begin to appear as one. Although it is difficult to find an exact merger date, around 1936 inconsistencies in references to the titles of these departments begin to appear in College records. Major examinations from this time switch between referring to Greek and Latin departments separately and referring to the combined Classical Department.

An exam in 1936 is labeled with a singular “Classical Department instead of Greek or Latin. From Major Examinations (1926–1939), Student Examinations, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

1943 Classical Languages Admissions Requirement Removed

In 1943, the Greek and Latin requirements for entry into the Bachelor of Arts program at the College were removed, the culmination of a process begun nearly fifty years earlier when advanced Latin was allowed as a substitute for Greek. In addition to marking the end of a classics requirement for admission to Bowdoin College, the general curriculum also did away with mandatory classics courses. From this point forward, most students would only take classics by choice for a major or minor. The department was no longer tightly woven into the general college education.

A page from the 1943–1944 Bowdoin College catalogue documenting the transition to a general foreign language requirement for admission to the Bachelor of Arts program. From “Bowdoin College Catalogue (1943–1944).” Bowdoin College Catalogues, Course Guides, and Academic Handbooks. link

Alternate view of a white marble status of a young man's body standing against the base of a tree. The arms and head have broken off and are not present.
1946 Nathan Dane II

A member of Bowdoin’s Class of 1937, Nathan Dane II received the Hannibal Hamlin Emery Latin Prize and Sewall Latin Prize during his time as a student. He returned to the College as an Instructor of Classics in 1946, eventually becoming the Winkley Professor of Latin Language and Literature. The reputation of Professor Dane, who was affectionately referred to as “The Great Dane,” led to a revival of interest in the classics on campus. Professor Dane’s courses were extremely popular with large percentage of Bowdoin students having taken one of his classes during their time at the College. Professor Dane taught at Bowdoin until his death in 1980, when he was posthumously awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Statue of a youth (Pythian Apollo?), Roman, 2nd c. CE, copy after a Greek original ca. 5th–4th c. BCE, marble. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of Nathan Dane, 1961.97.

Image scan of a page from a book with heading "Report of the President"
1946 Bowdoin Switches to Exclusively BA Degrees

In 1946, Bowdoin College did away with its Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Law degrees, which had originated in 1895 as alternative degrees for students without classical languages. Since knowing Latin or Greek ceased to be a prerequisite for admission, the President of Bowdoin reported that “the distinction between the [Bachelor of Arts] and the [Bachelor of Science] has long been obsolete; the [Bachelor of Science] does not denote knowledge of science; it merely expresses ignorance of Latin.” Today, all Bowdoin students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The 1946 Bowdoin College Report of the President in which President Sills advocates for the Bachelor of Science program to be replaced solely with the Bachelor of Arts program. From Annual Report of the President. 55.

Photograph of a campus building with caption "The New Classroom Building, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine"
1950 Sills Hall, a home for the Classics Department

Built in 1950, Sills Hall is named for Kenneth Charles Morton Sills, a Bowdoin Professor of Classics and College President. The building was originally called the “Class Room Building” and renamed in President Sills’s honor after his retirement. The building includes a lecture hall, several classrooms, and offices. The basement holds the Peucinian Room, a small library that shares a name with the Peucinian Society of Bowdoin College, a student organization created in 1805 and centered around debates and philosophy.

Several of the rooms in Sills Hall are named after various faculty members throughout the history of the College with a connection to classics. The Woodruff Room, named for Frank Edward Woodruff, displays the recipients of the Department of Classics awards. Today the Department of Classics is located in Sills Hall.

Sills Hall, then called “The New Class Room Building, shortly after the completion of its construction circa 1950. “Sills Hall, Exterior,” Local Call Number 288, Bowdoin College Archives. Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Painting of a nude woman draped in satin sheets lounging under a tree. She holds a chalice and feeds herself grapes while a cherub frolics nearby.
1954 Susan Dwight Bliss

Susan Dwight Bliss (1882–1966) was a New York collector and philanthropist and the sole heir to wealthy financier George T. (1816–1901) and Jeanette Dwight Bliss (1852–1924). Susan inherited a sizeable collection of ancient Mediterranean and historic European art from her parents, prominent collectors of the Gilded Age, and continued to collect rare books, manuscripts, and historic art and artifacts herself.

By the middle of the twentieth century, she began donating to a number of institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (the national library of France), Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Bliss maintained a summer home in Bar Harbor and visited Bowdoin and the Walker Art Museum regularly during her travels through Maine. Beginning in the 1940s, she donated to Bowdoin many of her rare books, manuscripts, and the interior and furnishings of the library of her Upper Eastside Mansion, installed today as the Susan Dwight Bliss Room in Hubbard Hall at the College. Between 1948 and 1956, she also donated a major collection of almost one thousand European and American prints and paintings, including many neoclassical works, and a small but notable group of Egyptian antiquities to the Museum.

Charles Joseph Natoire, The Triumph of Love, ca. 1736, oil on canvas. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of Miss Susan Dwight Bliss, 1948.19.

Black and white photograph of Prof. Henry Johnson from 1905
1958 Creation of the Henry Johnson Chair of Art and Archaeology

In 1958, the Henry Johnson Chair of Art and Archaeology was created in honor of Professor Henry Johnson (1855–1918). Johnson had served as the curator of the Bowdoin Art Collections starting in 1889 and played a vital role in the early development of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. During his time at the College, Professor Johnson also taught Greek Archaeology—the first time archaeology was taught at Bowdoin as its own course—as an elective for senior year students. The creation of the Henry Johnson Chair of Art and Archaeology was an extension of his involvement in art and classics.

Portrait of Henry Johnson (1905). Courtesy of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Modern photograph of a man wearing a suit, against a backdrop of American flags.
1962 William Cohen Graduates

During his time at Bowdoin, William Cohen ’62—future US Representative, Senator, and presidential cabinet member—studied in the Department of Classics. He received both the Hannibal Hamlin Emery Latin Prize and the Sewall Latin Prize. Born in 1940 in Bangor, Maine, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and subsequently a degree in law from Boston University. Cohen went on to be a successful lawyer and politician, serving as the Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. Since his time in politics, Cohen has authored several books, including an analysis of the Iran-Contra affair that he wrote with fellow Bowdoin alumnus George J. Mitchell ’54.

The official US Department of Defense portrait of Former Secretary of Defense, U.S. Senator, Representative and Bowdoin alum William Cohen ’62.

1964 Kevin Herbert publishes Ancient Art in Bowdoin College

In 1964 the first and only comprehensive catalogue of the Museum’s antiquities collections was published by Professor Kevin Herbert. Ancient Art in Bowdoin College: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren and Other Collections catalogued the Museum’s collection of antiquities from Egypt, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia. A little over one hundred years since the Assyrian reliefs arrived at Bowdoin marking the first antiquities at the College, the ancient collections had grown by the time of publication to over 1,200 works of art and artifacts.

Herbert carried out the impressive task of documenting the collection while serving as an Assistant Professor of Classics from 1955–1962. It is notable that the need for a catalogue was suggested by Cornelius Vermuele, curator of classical antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and one of the leading scholars on ancient art of the time. In the course of researching the collection, Herbert was also able to consult John Beazley of Oxford University, the foremost authority on Greek vases and a friend of Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928).

Kevin Herbert, Ancient Art in Bowdoin College, Harvard University Press, 1964.

Alternate view of A thick ceramic plate decorated with red fish, squid, clam shells, and floral pattern on a black background.
1977 Adela Wood Smith Trust, in memory of Harry de Forest Smith, Class of 1891

In 1977, an endowed fund was established by the bequest of Adela Wood Smith in honor of her husband Harry de Forest Smith (1869–1943), a Bowdoin alumnus and Professor of Greek at Amherst College in Massachusetts from 1901–1939. The first such endowed funds set aside for antiquities at the Museum, this trust enabled the BCMA to judiciously add to its antiquities collection.

While questions have been raised concerning the provenance of some of the earliest acquisitions, the Museum has exercised care in ensuring acquisitions of antiquities adhere to the 1970 UNESCO convention and revised guidelines established for museums by the AAMD in 2007 and 2011. Recent acquisitions made with the Adela Wood Smith Trust include an Apulian fish plate, a Fayum mummy portrait, and a Greek funerary stele from Ionia.

Attributed to the “Perrone-Phrixos group”, Fish plate, Greek, ca. 360–320 BCE, terracotta, red-figure. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Museum purchase, Adela Wood Smith Trust, 2018.1.

Poster advertising the "Lives of Women in Antiquity" symposium, featuring line drawings based on anciet artworks.
1987 Symposium Commemorating Start of Women’s Studies Program

In April 1987, a symposium titled “The Lives of Women in Antiquity” was held in honor of the new Women’s Studies Program at the College. The symposium featured several speakers from other universities across the country and demonstrated the ways in which the study of classics connected with other departments at the College, even those that did not immediately seem to have any relation to the subject. In focusing on women—a largely under-represented demographic of the history of the ancient world—this event showed the power of classics in supporting what was then a new area of study.

1987 Bowdoin College Classics Symposium held in honor of the College’s new Women’s Studies Program. From Department of Classics: Records, Posters, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Ancient coin with imperfect edges, featuring a carved profile of a face.
1988 Salton Medals and Coins

Mark M. Salton (1914–2006) and Lottie Aronstein (1924–2020) shared a lifelong passion for numismatics and together amassed a significant collection of ancient coins as well as Renaissance medals (first exhibited at Bowdoin in 1965). After donating a collection of Renaissance medals to the Museum in 1978, the Saltons followed up on this generosity with several large gifts of ancient coins between 1988 and 1997, numbering nearly seven hundred in all. The Saltons took great care to select coins from their collection for the Museum that filled important gaps and were of particular use in college teaching.

Indeed, their correspondence with the Museum reveals that they took a special interest in the educational value of their collection, receiving regular updates on the curriculum and even syllabi for specific classes. In 1990, for example, the Museum was gifted a group of 210 bronze coins spanning the first centuries of the Roman Empire. At the time, Mr. Salton wrote that he hoped this grouping would “illustrate the political history and trade patterns of that period and show the complexities of Roman monetary administration throughout the Empire.” Previously, the Saltons had gifted a group of silver coins of the Roman Republic (1989) and bronze and silver coins illustrating imperial portraiture (1988). The final gift from the Saltons came in 1997 and consisted of nearly 250 Roman coins illustrating what Mr. Salton described as “Life in Ancient Rome,” including art and architecture, music, the games, and agriculture.

Tetradrachm of Egypt, ca. 323-285 BCE, silver. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Gift of the Board of Governors, Collection of Henry Johnson, Class of 1874, 1919.58.6.

Photograph of a man wearing a cap and a safari-style vest, with the ruins of an arch behind him.
2006 James Higginbotham appointed Curator for the Ancient Collection

In 2006, Professor James Higginbotham was appointed the Museum’s first Curator for the Ancient Collection. While the Museum had previously benefited from the scholarship of visiting scholars, including classical art historians Stanley Casson and Kevin Herbert, the establishment of the position of Curator for the Ancient Collection marked the first permanent position for the stewardship of the ancient collection at the Museum. It was also the first time that a portion of the Museum’s collection was singled out for curatorial care, affirming the importance of antiquities within the Museum’s larger collection.

During his tenure, Professor Higginbotham has drawn widely on the ancient collections for exhibitions on ancient portraits, religion, burial and the afterlife, and spectacles and contests, all while sharing the collections with thousands of Bowdoin students, including many who have themselves gone on to become archaeologists, art historians, and museum professionals.

Professor James Higginbotham at the Arch of Septimius Severus at Leptis Magna in Libya.

2007 Renovation of the Museum

The 1894 Walker Art Building heralded Bowdoin’s commitment to the arts, but it lacked the space and technical amenities required of a twenty-first-century teaching museum. In November 2003, the architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates began designs for a long-awaited renovation of the landmark building. The expansion’s many achievements included a new glass entrance pavilion in addition to new and expanded galleries.

The Assyrian reliefs finally received the exhibition space they long deserved in a dedicated gallery facing Maine Street. By day, the glass curtain wall fills the gallery with natural light, and at night, the reliefs are often illuminated and visible from outside of the Museum. The reliefs were originally brilliantly colored, but the polychrome pigments have long been worn from their surfaces. Using modern interventions with color projections, however, today visitors can see how color transformed the images carved in limestone.

Image of a page from a Bowdoin Course Book, listing Greek and Latin courses.
2011 Elementary Greek 1101 Moved to Spring Semester

With no classics requirements remaining in the curriculum and the general interest in classics among high school and college students declining in much of the world, the Department of Classics at Bowdoin moved “Elementary Greek” to the spring semester—contrary to most languages, which start in the fall. The hope was that, by delaying the start of Greek, the faculty would have more time to garner interest in classics among first year students. Although enrollment in classics may never reach the numbers it had in decades past when courses were required of all students, classes like “Classical Myth” remain popular at the College.

The Bowdoin College Catalogue from 2010-2011 showing that the Elementary Greek I course is scheduled for the Spring semester while the Elementary Greek II course is scheduled for the Fall semester. From Bowdoin College Catalogues, Course Guides, and Academic Handbooks. 292.

2020 Classics Major Requirements are Generalized

During the 2020–2021 school year, the faculty of the Department of Classics revised its major requirements, swapping out specific course requirements for more general requirements. Previously, classics majors with a concentration in languages and literature were required to take a class on either Greek archaeology or Roman archaeology. Under the new requirements, majors in that same concentration are able to submit a much wider array of art and archaeology courses for credit towards the major, as well as independent studies conducted on objects from the Museum collections.

Ancient grave marker with a relief carving of two figures in togas, grasping hands.
2020 The Museum’s Most Recent Acquisition—A Greek Grave Stele

Building over a century of antiquities collecting, the Museum continues to acquire antiquities today, guided by ethical standards determined by the AAMD and by a commitment to the care and stewardship of cultural heritage. The provenance (chain of ownership) of each acquisition is carefully researched in order to determine its legal status and to ensure that the artifact has not been stolen or illegally excavated from another country.

The Museum’s most recent acquisition is a Greek grave stele originally from Ionia. Funerary sculptures like this stele, which served as a grave marker in antiquity, stand as poignant memorials to individual Greek lives and powerful witness to the achievements of the Greeks in the sculptural arts. This stele has a well-documented and interesting provenance, first appearing in the gallery of Brimo de Laroussilhe, (Paris, est. 1908) which remains a major European gallery to this day. The stele was acquired in 1921 by Joseph Brummer, a prominent dealer in both antiquities and modern art. In 1921, Brummer closed his Paris gallery and relocated to New York, where the stele was prominently displayed as one of the first pieces on offer in the new location. Among the Brummer gallery archives are photos of the stele installed in the street-facing windows of the gallery. In 1930, the piece was sold to Mina Merrill Prindle for the decoration of the Prindle estate in Duluth, Minnesota, interiors from which are now held by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Tracing this history illustrates the continued connections between America and Europe over the common ground of antiquity.

Grave stele (funerary monument) of a young man and his brother, Greek, 3rd–2nd c. BCE, marble. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Museum purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund and the Adela Wood Smith, 2020.54.