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Ken Gonzales-Day, Untitled, 2009. Photograph.
(Portrait of a child, AD 150-200, Roman. Marble, J Paul Getty Museum).

Ancient Roman portrait sculptures, often difficult to identify and understand today, sometimes tell us more about the museums displaying them than about the individuals depicted. Using photography, Los Angeles artist Ken Gonzales-Day explores Roman portraits with an interest in interpretation, personhood, and the dynamics of stereotypes. Focusing on the bust of a young child, Gonzales-Day and Getty antiquities curator Jens Daehner discuss the search for real people behind ancient portraits. 

Jens Daehner has been a curator of ancient art at the Getty Museum since 2002. He organized several exhibitions exploring Hellenistic sculpture, the history of archaeology, and Roman imperial portraits, as well as the role of antiquity in 20th-century art. He is a widely published author and his book Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World (co-authored with Kenneth Lapatin) was awarded the London Hellenic Prize in 2015. Currently, he is preparing a collection catalog of Roman sculpture at the Getty, but also dedicates his time to mentorship, diversity and inclusion policies for the museum, and advocacy for the curatorial profession. 

The event will take place via webinar on July 30, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 a.m. ET. Advance sign-up required.

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