News Center

News from the Reed College public affairs office

Search: or

Press Release


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Includes a lecture and symposium; objects on loan from Metropolitan Museum

What Is A Man? Changing Images of Masculinity in Late Antique Art, an exhibition of artworks and objects from the third to sixth centuries that present varying male images, will be on display at Reed College's Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery from April 12 to June 17. What Is A Man takes up the challenges of recent thought and research on gender in antiquity, asking how the great social and religious changes in late antiquity in the Mediterranean world intersect with the imagery of manliness. The exhibition was designed as an integral part of Reed's distinctive first-year humanities curriculum.

What Is A Man will be accompanied by a lecture and symposium (see below); all events are free and open to the public. The Cooley Gallery is open every day except Monday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is in Reed's library. Parking is available nearby, and the #19 bus stops on Woodstock at the campus entrance near the library. Special group tours can be arranged. For more information, please call 503/777-7790.


A symposium that delves into some of the questions raised by the exhibition will be held at Reed on Saturday, April 13 (see schedule below). The speakers are distinguished scholars with substantive contributions to the study of gender and sexuality in late antiquity. The sessions will focus on both the textual and art historical components of the study of gender and masculinity, complementing the exhibition as well as Reed's humanities program.


Natalie Boymel Kampen, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Women's Studies and Art History at Barnard College, will discuss "Men and Families in Late Antique Art" on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Reed's Vollum lecture hall. Kampen curated the exhibition with Elizabeth M. Marlowe and Rebecca M. Molholt.

Six prestigious institutions have loaned objects to Reed for this exhibition: the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Art Museum at Princeton University, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Kelsey Archaeology Museum at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, the American Numismatic Society in New York, and the Portland Art Museum. Forty-one items will be on display, including coins, busts, oil lamps, textiles, steelyard weights, amulets, and vessels. A full color scholarly catalogue will be available, with reproductions of all objects in the exhibition.



What Is A Man? Changing Images of Masculinity in Late Antique Art

A symposium of humanities and art history

Saturday, April 13

Vollum lecture hall, Reed College

Free and open to the public


9 a.m.
Coffee and pastries

10 a.m.

Anne McClanan, assistant professor of Byzantine art history, Portland State University

"Fair Endymion: Passivity and Manhood in Late Antique Art"

Daniel Boyarin, professor of Jewish studies, University of California—Berkeley

"Who Wrote the Dominant Fiction? On the History of the Early Phallus"

Lunch break

2 p.m.
John Elsner, Humphrey Payne Senior Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

"Manliness and Art in Late Antiquity"

Elizabeth Anne Castelli, assistant professor of religion, Barnard College

"Playing the Man: Self-Mastery and Masculinity in Early Christianity"

# # # #