Museum Loan Network: Classical Collection Survey


The Field Museum's Classical Collection, curated by Dr. Bennet Bronson, contains nearly 5000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan bronze, ceramic, stone and glass objects collected by Field Museum Board of Trustees President Edward E. Ayer in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Most spectacular among these are nearly 100 early Roman glass vessels, and approximately 250 pieces of Roman and Etruscan gold and silver jewelry. Many of these objects are available for loan.

There are about 300 19th century high-quality reproductions (commissioned by the Naples Museum) of bronze objects excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as frescoes, friezes, and sarcophagi excavated at the sites of Narce, Palestrina, and Chuisi. The collection also includes 3,700 Greek and Roman coins.

The Field Museum's Classical collection stands as a unique record of some of the material culture used during Classical times, but it also offers a unique perspective on the collecting habits and museum preferences at the turn of the last century.