UC Classics lecture: Beware of Centaurs (and others) Bearing Rocks

23 March 2017

An upcoming University of Canterbury public guest lecture, Beware of Centaurs (and others) Bearing Rocks, has been thousands of years in the making.

  • StiltWalkerVase_ART_block

    Professor Andrew Stewart of the University of California Berkeley says: “After Sydney’s Nicholson Museum, the Logie Collection is the finest Greek and Roman collection in Australasia.” This scene showing centaurs attacking a warrior with rocks is on the famous “StiltWalker vase”, an Attic black-figure amphora 540-530BCE attributed to the Swing Painter, from the University of Canterbury’s James Logie Memorial Collection. Taken from Greek mythology, the scene refers to the murder of the tragic hero Kaineus who, invulnerable to metal, could only be killed by being pounded into the earth. The other side of the vase shows men walking on stilts, a unique feature for which this Athenian sixth century BCE amphora is famous.

An upcoming University of Canterbury public guest lecture, Beware of Centaurs (and others) Bearing Rocks, has been thousands of years in the making.

This year the University of Canterbury is moving part of its College of Arts – Classics and Music – to the Christchurch Arts Centre (previously the University’s campus until the 1970s) and opening a permanent public exhibition space for its priceless antiquities collection in the former Chemistry building.

To help celebrate the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities opening at UC’s new space at the Arts Centre in mid-May, a world renowned expert in Greek art will give a preview of some of the University of Canterbury’s priceless James Logie Memorial Collection masterpieces, including the famous “StiltWalker vase” – an Attic black-figure amphora 540-530BCE attributed to the Swing Painter (pictured).

The University of Canterbury Broadhead Classical Lecture will be delivered by Professor Andrew Stewart of the University of California Berkeley, who is also Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The free public lecture, Beware of Centaurs (and others) Bearing Rocks: Four Masterpieces from the Logie Collection and the Hephaisteion in the Athenian Agora, will be held on Tuesday 4 April, at 7pm, in the Great Hall at the Arts Centre.

Prof Stewart specialises in Greek art, particularly sculpture, and is currently charged with publishing the Classical and Hellenistic freestanding and architectural sculpture from the Athenian Agora.

“From one point of view, the Agora is a vast, four-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with 90% of the pieces missing; from another, it’s the best playground any archaeologist could want,” he says.

Prof Stewart has fond memories and a personal connection to the University of Canterbury’s James Logie Memorial Collection from when he was an academic in New Zealand.

“When I taught in Dunedin in the ’70s, and could get away for a bit, the Logie Collection was my magnet, and its founder and benefactor, Marian Steven, was my mentor. It’s an honour to be invited to come back to lecture on it,” Prof Stewart says.

“After Sydney’s Nicholson Museum, the Logie Collection is the finest Greek and Roman collection in Australasia.”

UC Classics Senior Lecturer Dr Gary Morrison says it will be a privilege to host Prof Stewart as a guest lecturer.

“His interest and expertise in fifth century Athens makes him an ideal Broadhead lecturer. He also has a long-standing association with the James Logie Memorial Collection and it is most appropriate to have him contribute to the Classics Department’s move to the Arts Centre and our anticipation of the opening of the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in mid-May,” Dr Morrison says.

“It is great to have items from our prestigious James Logie Memorial Collection back in the public eye for this lecture, and this is a great preview of the quality of items that will soon be on permanent display.”

The University’s James Logie Memorial Collection will be on public display in the new Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities being opened by the University of Canterbury at the Arts Centre of Christchurch in mid-May this year.

At UC Berkeley, Prof Stewart is the Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology in the Departments of History of Art and Classics, the Nicholas C. Petris Professor of Greek Studies, and Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. He is a member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim and Getty Foundations, and from the American Council of Learned Societies; in 2009 he received UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Broadhead Classical Lecture is a public lecture in memory of Professor Henry Dan Broadhead (1889-1967) who was on the academic staff of the Department of Classics at what was then Canterbury University College (1915-1954). Professor Broadhead is known principally for work on Latin prose rhythm and Greek Tragedy, his magisterial edition of Aeschylus’ Persae (Cambridge University Press, 1960, re-issued in paperback in 2009) remains highly regarded.

The lecture is possible due to a gift by Mrs Hilda Broadhead, made in memory of her husband.

To attend the UC Broadhead Lecture, Beware of Centaurs (and others) Bearing Rocks: Four Masterpieces from the Logie Collection and the Hephaisteion in the Athenian Agora, Professor Andrew Stewart of the University of California Berkeley, Tuesday 4 April, at 7pm, in the Great Hall at the Arts Centre please register to attend

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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