Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
Jennifer Combe, Mattey Semanoff
Amphora, Somatic, Museum, Institutional, Ocularcentric, Access
University of Montana
Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Ancient Philosophy | Classical Archaeology and Art History | Theory and Criticism
Physical experiences with ancient art objects in museums are rare. Display paradigms in most public institutions continue to propagate systems of participant interaction that reinforces unequal power structures. The Montana Musuem of Art and Culture (MMAC) is the current custodian of an ancient, Rhodian wine amphora that provides an opportunity to examine a novel system of somatic participation. This proposal upends traditional gatekeeping practices and serves as a powerful and progressive, humanist touchstone; an olive branch extended to the general public from behind the walls of higher education and the ramparts of privileged scholarship. This study reimagines the amphora's future custody and suggests a purely somatic method of display that dispenses with traditional, institutional supplementation. The MMAC’s potential somatic exhibition encourages touching the surface of a 2300-year-old artifact. This experiment offers museum goers a novel chance to create autonomous knowledge through touch while simultaneously bridging chasms in educational backgrounds and cultural privileges. This proposal draws on defensible and pertinent philosophical and theoretical positions to argue for a method of museum practice that will transform and decolonize audiences’ interactions with classical objects from a prescribed and narrow interplay into a more equitable and democratic interrelation. I illuminate a need for the objects that chronicle a segment of our shared history (classical objects in particular) to be made available to museum visitors for direct, physical touch.
Peitsmeyer, Jerod G., "Evaluating a Need for Somatic Access to Classical Objects in Public Museums" (2021). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11820.
Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity Commons, Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture Commons, Ancient Philosophy Commons, Classical Archaeology and Art History Commons, Theory and Criticism Commons
© Copyright 2021 Jerod G. Peitsmeyer