Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite
October 22, 2005 - January 22, 2006
In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite is an exhibition of over 70 frescoes and other artifacts recovered from four ancient Italian villas preserved by the same eruption that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79. Genuine Roman frescoes rarely go on tour and this exhibition marks an historic exchange between the United States and Italy.
The Roman villas of ancient Stabiae (modern Castellammare di Stabia) are located at the gateway to the Amalfi peninsula, approximately 4.5 kilometers south of Pompeii. Placed high on a bluff overlooking the Bay of Naples the archeological site of Stabiae consists of a string of villas built by the Roman elite for summer residency and political entertaining in the first centuries B.C. and A.D. In Stabiano features 26 remarkably well-preserved frescoes, glass and ceramic vessels and decorative stucco fragments depicting mythical personages. One of the most striking pieces in the exhibition is the installation of an entire "triclinium" (three-couch dining room). Museum visitors will enter the triclinium to discover frescoes depicting The Triumph of Dionysus, Neptune and Amymone, Baccus and Ceres. The pictorial decoration of the triclinium is inspired by the Dionysiac Cycle and is related to the main activity taking place in the Villa Carmiano, the production of wine. This exhibition presents the environment of entertaining and dining which was essential to the way Roman aristocrats used their villas.
The villas at Stabiae are an archaeological treasure which presents the lifestyle of wealthy and powerful Romans. In addition, the exhibition is an ambassadorial initiative intended to inform the scholarly community about the archaeological site and the unique organization, Restoring Ancient Stabiae (RAS), which encourages collaborative enterprise with organizations in the US to excavate, explore, preserve, and develop an archaeological park to care for this ancient seaside Roman resort.
Local presentation of In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite is generously sponsored by Charles & Ann Mathewson, Dickson Realty, Western Nevada Supply Company, Bruno & Edna Benna, Grant Thornton, Nevada Arts Council, Senator William & Dale Raggio and Whittier Trust.
In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite is organized by the Archaeological Superintendancy of Pompeii and the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation. The tour is managed by International Arts and Artists and partially sponsored by National Italian American Foundation.
In Stabiano: Exploring the Ancient Seaside Villas of the Roman Elite is accompanied by a full color illustrated exhibition catalogue. The catalogue will be available at the NMA Museum Store for $40 per copy/soft cover.
For more information on the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation or the traveling tour, visit www.stabiae.org.