Dr. Katherine A. Schwab is not just a professor, an archaeologist, and an artist- she is also an art history detective. Her work, which combines all three disciplines, reconstructs some of the most damaged parts of the relief sculptures of the famous Greek temple the Parthenon and discovers some of the sculpture's missing pieces.
In the Georgia Museum of Art exhibition "An Archaeologist's Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab," Schwab's intensely careful drawings have for the first time taken the destroyed parts of the Parthenon's metopes (the large panels of the frieze above the columns) and "filled in the holes." She has used her archeological background to reimagine these metopes, which tell the mythological stories of famous characters like Odysseus and the Greek Gods, and finally display the complexity that they would have shown back in their glory days before they were damaged in the 6th and17th centuries.
Schwab's drawings use a new method of graphite and pastel on paper, a process she began working with in 2005. The multimedia exhibition, which runs from Sept. 13 through Dec. 7, combines these drawings with photographs of the original sculptures by Socratis Mavrommatis and a full size plaster cast of one of the better preserved metopes, allowing visitors to gain a full understanding of how complex these sculptures truly are.
Some museum visitors have already had the opportunity to get up close with the exhibition. On Sept. 13, the museum hosted a Parthenon-themed Family Day for younger visitors. Kids could not only spend some time with their families in the galleries but were also able to try their hand with sculpting tools, take photos dressed up as Greek gods and goddesses and create their own metope drawings.
Future events about the exhibition include the annual Shouky Shaheen Lecture, which Schwab will deliver on Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m., entitled "The Parthenon Sculptures: Reimagining Lost Narratives." Two tours will also be offered: one on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. by undergraduate honors classics student Chiara Tondi Resta, and one by Mark Abbe, guest curator of the exhibition, on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.