Leading Etruscan scholar to discuss mysterious culture

Etruscan statues
Alexandra Carpino, professor of art history at Northern Arizona University, will deliver the American Institute of Archaeology’s Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology Feb. 5 at the Parthenon in Centennial Park.

The lecture, titled “Etruscan Faces: From the Symbolic to the Real,” will begin at 7 p.m. Carpino will focus on the Etruscans’ development of naturalistic portraiture, one of the major contributions of this intriguing culture that flourished in Italy from the late eighth century BCE to the first century BCE. Many features of their cultural heritage were adopted later by the Romans.

Carpino, who serves as chair of comparative cultural studies at Northern Arizona, focused her dissertation on Etruscan bronze mirrors. 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 examples of Etruscan sculpture and metallurgy.

At the recent annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Carpino presented her research on “The Iconography of Violence Against Women on Engraved Etruscan Bronze Mirrors.”

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. She serves on the board of directors of the Flagstaff-based Masterpiece Art Program, which seeks to bring art and art history into local elementary school classrooms.

Among the co-sponsors for this lecture are Vanderbilt’s History of Art Goldberg Lecture Series and the Department of Classical Studies. Those who plan to attend are requested to call the Parthenon at 615-862-8431 to reserve their seats.