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Assistant Professor of History of Art & Architecture:
History of Art & Architecture
Phone: +1 401 863 1175
Rebecca Molholt's area of focus is Roman art and architecture, and specifically the art of houses and baths in the Roman provinces. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and a Master's degree in Art History from Williams College. She has worked with Pompeiian art for an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, with the late Roman-early Byzantine mosaics of Antioch for a show at the Worcester Art Museum, and co-curated an exhibition on the images of masculinity in late antiquity for Reed College. Her current work centers on the medium-specific talents of floor mosaics from Roman North Africa, and the many ways they prompt viewers to think on their feet.
Outstanding Professor Award, Brown Undergraduate Council of Students, 2011
Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize, College Art Association, 2011
David E. Finley Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C., 2005-2008
Arthur Ross Rome Prize Fellowship, American Academy in Rome, 2004-2005
Multi-Year Presidential Graduate Fellowship, Columbia University, 1998 2003
The Clark Fellow, 1996. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA.
Archaeological Institute of America
Association International pour l'Étude de la Mosaïque Antique
College Art Association
Topics in Roman Art and Architecture: Roman Spectacles
Spectacles offered the Romans innumerable opportunities for self-definition, on the individual level, the community level, and even the imperial level. Performance art cuts across traditional boundaries between media, and we examine total ensembles as often as possible. Topics include the amphitheater and the circus, representations of gladiators and charioteers, the architecture of propaganda and theater, and the triumph of victorious individuals as well as its opposite, the literal defacement of imperial portraits. Domestic spectacles are also considered, including pleasure boats and vacation homes, gardens and sculpture collections.
Mosaics in the Greek and Roman World
Roman mosaics survive in huge quantities from nearly every corner of the Roman Empire, far out-numbering any other surviving art form from the Roman world. The demise of architecture and wall paintings, in fact, often contributes to the survival of floor mosaics when buildings collapse, burying and thereby protecting mosaic floors, which remain unharmed. Despite their prevalence and their often excellent state of preservation, however, mosaics are only beginning to attract the volume of scholarly attention lavished on other media, such as sculpture and paintings. We will consider floor mosaics, wall mosaics and opus sectile, all in context as often as possible. As with any HIAA seminar, class presentations and the final project are intended to foster the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing, develop critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, as well as the ability to innovate and be creative. Discussions of Medieval, Renaissance and contemporary mosaic art are also welcome.
Masterpieces of Western Art and Architecture
This course is not a historical survey, but an analytical study of a limited number of major monuments and artists, each presented in considerable depth. It begins with the architectural traditions of the Classical world, and then looks at sculpture and architecture in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque and modern periods. After the midterm, the fulcrum shifts to painting, photography and works of art in two dimensions. A general introduction to an informed and critical experience of art and architecture, the point of this class is not to cover the history of art chronologically but to facilitate the development of visual literacy, and the articulation of the visual experience through language.