October 23, 2020
Artwork: "Fresco with Trophy" © National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Giorgio Albano).

The ancient town of Pompeii, destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, has long fascinated society. This fall, thanks to the Orlando Science Center, Central Florida has access to a rare exhibition about the town and its inhabitants: the science center is one of just three sites in the United States to host Pompeii: The Immortal City, a traveling exhibition premiering in Orlando on October 26 and running through January 24, 2021.

UCF researchers in the School of Visual Arts and Design have been preparing presentations in collaboration with the science center after receiving funding from Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs and their tourism partners.

On November 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m., the public is invited to attend a symposium entitled “Life and Death in Pompeii.” This event will feature a series of short presentations and discussion about Pompeiian art, archaeology, and classical languages and literature. The presenters include Margaret Ann Zaho from the School of Visual Arts and Design, Edward Dandrow from the Department of History and Robert Vander Poppen from Rollins College.

Zaho, who applied for the grant funding, says “the art from Pompeii, whether in bronze, fresco or mosaic, reflects the taste of Pompeiians and their love of decorated surfaces. It gives us a glimpse into the world in which they lived and worked.”

From the Etruscan culture of Pre-Roman Central Italy to the creation and maintenance of power structures to the art and cultural heritage of the time, attendees will gain an understanding of the life and culture in the Roman world. The art and history presentations coordinated by Ilenia Colón Mendoza include “Greek and Roman Myths in the Houses of Pompeii and the Bay of Naples,” “Public Entertainment in Pompeii” and “Pompeii: Cultural Heritage and Preservation.”

The symposium is free and open to the public; attendees can register at https://arts.cah.ucf.edu/symposium-pompeii/.

In addition to the grant received by Zaho and Colón Mendoza, UCF CREATE received funding to teach students at the Lake Eola Charter School about Pompeiians and their culture, including volcanoes, archeology, Roman myths, buon frescoes, and Pompeiian artwork through STEAM activities. Some of these lessons have been made available to the public for free through an online course called “STEAM Art Making with Miss A.

For those looking for a scientific look at Pompeii, the UCF College of Science will be hosting a “Lunch and Learn” series starting on October 26 and running monthly through January 24, 2021.

For more information about Pompeii: The Immortal City and the Orlando Science Center, visit www.osc.org/pompeii.

Artwork Image: © National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Giorgio Albano).