Alexandra Carpino, professor of art history and department chair of comparative cultural studies at Northern Arizona University, will deliver the American Institute of Archaeology’s annual Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology on Tuesday, February 5, at 7 p.m. at the Nashville Parthenon in Centennial Park. Carpino’s lecture, Etruscan Faces: From the Symbolic to the Real, will focus on the development of naturalistic portraiture by the Etruscans, one of the major contributions of this fascinating, though mysterious, culture that flourished in Italy from the late eighth century BCE to the first century BCE.
Carpino’s dissertation focused on Etruscan bronze mirrors, and her book, Discs of Splendor: The Relief Mirrors of the Etruscans (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), is the first detailed scholarly study of these splendid examples of Etruscan sculpture and metallurgy. Carpino is currently working on a Companion to the Etruscans with her colleague, Sinclair Bell from Northern Illinois University, an anthology of essays on the most current research on Etruscan art and culture that will be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2014. She organized a session of the Companion’s papers for the 2013 annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America held in early January in Seattle where she presented her research on “The Iconography of Violence Against Women on Engraved Etruscan Bronze Mirrors.”
Her essay on Etruscan portraiture will also be part of Routledge’s 2013 volume, The Etruscan World, edited by Jean M. Turfa. Carpino promotes awareness of Etruscan culture through her teaching and her work with The Etruscan Foundation. She is editor-in-chief of Etruscan Studies: Journal of the Etruscan Foundation.
As one of the top Etruscan art scholars in the country, Carpino is also passionate about the importance of art education for the very young. To that end, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Flagstaff-based Masterpiece Art Program, which is a long-standing organization that seeks to bring art and art history into local elementary school classrooms. According to Carpino, it is critically important—especially at a time when education resources have been greatly diminished—to continue to introduce great art to children.
Free and open to the public, the lecture is sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology, the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, the Vanderbilt History of Art Goldberg Lecture Series, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Holiday Inn at Vanderbilt. Those who plan to attend the lecture are asked to call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat.