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Grant number: GI-250140-16

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President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3846)
Susanne Ebbinghaus (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings

Implementation of a traveling exhibition, a catalog, and associated programs about the 3,000-year tradition of animal-shaped vessels in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean.

The proposed exhibition presents a selection of more than 60 animal-shaped vessels to recreate the rich world of ideas that found expression at ancient feasts. The vessels are fragmentary evidence that complement the words spoken at banquets and drinking parties—the songs, speeches, and prayers that are mostly lost to us. The vessels will be accompanied by ancient and modern representations of feasts in the form of (wall) paintings and reliefs, for a total of approximately 70 objects. The exhibition will include digital features such as an interactive map and 3D images of selected objects, a publication, and robust programs at the Harvard Art Museums and other venues across Harvard University. The exhibition will open in Cambridge, Massachusetts in fall 2018 and is scheduled to travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in spring 2019.

Project fields:
Archaeology; Classics; History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$325,000 (approved)
$325,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2019