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From Excavation to Exhibition: Beyond Vani's Golden Graves

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below.

The city of Vani in the Republic of Georgia is one of the best known and richest sites from the ancient kingdom of Colchis, a crossroads of cultures that absorbed influences from the Greeks, Persians, and Scythians.

Excavations conducted at Vani since the 1930s have yielded an extraordinary quantity of exquisite gold jewelry, mainly from the city's elaborate elite burials, the focus of the exhibition The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani (on view July 16–October 5 at the Getty Villa). Most likely produced locally at Vani, this gold jewelry came in a great variety of forms, from spectacular diadems to intricate necklaces comprised of diverse and unique bead shapes.

Exhibition curator Jennifer Chi of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University gives an overview of the extraordinary objects found at Vani, explaining their art historical significance and archaeological context. She also considers how such spectacular works can be presented in museums so that they not only serve as glittering objects of wonder, but also remain true to their original ancient function and cultural meaning.

About Jennifer Chi
Dr. Jennifer Y. Chi is associate director for exhibitions and public programs at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW) at New York University. She received a Masters of Studies from the University of Oxford, where she studied early Roman imperial art and architecture, and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where she focused on programmatic sculptural displays on public monuments in Roman Asia Minor. She is the curator of ISAW's inaugural exhibition, Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani (presented at the Getty Villa as The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani), and editor of the accompanying catalogue. A specialist in Roman imperial sculpture, she was also a fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she received her initial training in curatorial work. Chi and her staff at ISAW are developing an ambitious exhibition schedule, which will include at least one traveling exhibition a year.

Headdress Ornament with Animals / Colchian

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

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