Speaker: Dr. Alexander Nagel, Smithsonian Institution
This talk gives an overview about the history and role of one important aspect of Philhellenism in Washington, D.C. Focusing on side aspects of the collecting and display of antiquities and more from Greece which began only a few decades after the district became the US capital, the talk asks: What do we know about the collections which were formed over the years? Where are these collections now? How was Greece lobbied for and who were the main families and supporters of Greece in the U.S. capital? This illustrated lecture introduces highlights of recent research on the collections and highlights Greeks and Americans whose biographies became intertwined with the materials stored and displayed.
Dr. Alexander Nagel is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Art History and Museum Professions Program at the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. As Research Associate in Residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, he curated several exhibitions and research projects, focusing on the cultures and the legacies of the ancient Mediterranean, Arabia, the Middle East and Central Asia in Washington, D.C. Nagel is actively involved in the research and publication of materials from fieldwork in Greece, Iran and elsewhere. More recently, he co-edited a volume on modern archaeological approaches to research on caves in Greece with Dr. Stella Katsarou (Cave and Worship in Ancient Greece. New approaches to Landscape and Ritual, 2020), published on archaeological fieldwork in Aitoloakarnania and on the history and collections of materials from Greece in Washington, D.C. Museum collections “Transatlantic Hellas: Archiving Eastern Mediterranean Collections and Materials in the Smithsonian Institution,” in T. Gerry ed. Legacies of Ancient Greece. Wilmington/DE: Vernon Press (2022): 21-62.