Animating Antiquity: Interactive Environments for the Lowe Art Museum’s Collection of Ancient Artworks

Animating Antiquity is a student-generated curatorial project that provides a multifaceted contextualization of selected artworks in the Lowe Art Museum’s Antiquities Gallery. Ancient objects were functional at their core, but their display in a museum setting makes it difficult to recreate and understand their original function and context. Through the use of digital technologies—3-D modeling and printing—this project aims to reinsert these objects into their original settings and reanimate their tactility and functionality, forming new modes of interaction with artworks in the space of the museum and the virtual realm. Students will engage in activated, museum-based learning through the creation of 3-D models of the Lowe’s ancient artworks, the compilation of art historical dossiers contextualizing the objects, the printing of 3-D models, and the formulation of interactive activities with the printed models for visitors to the Lowe. All these elements combine to allow museum visitors to experience ancient objects in three different but interconnected modes—viewing the artworks in the gallery, touching and using the printed models, and interacting with 3-D models and web content online. The project’s goal is to integrate the Lowe’s visual resources into the UM curriculum while enriching the visitor’s experience at the Lowe. The Animating Antiquity project combines innovative technology with pedagogy and community outreach to provide students with important professional skills and expertise while expanding the boundaries of the museum and connecting people and objects in interactive environments.

Featured Collection: Lowe Art Museum

Course: ARH33/CLA 226 – Animating Antiquity (Spring 2019)

Course Instructors: Karen Mathews, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor of Art History, College of Arts and Sciences, Han Tran, Ph.D. / Senior Lecturer of Classics, College of Arts and Sciences

Digital Dossiers:
Theater Mask
Theseus and Ariadne
Roman Matron
Bearded Roman Male
The Funerary Vase
Roman Glass Vase with Disk Foot
Calyx Krater