Joseph Berger

Date of Award


First Advisor

Joan DelPlato

Second Advisor

Chris Coggins


This thesis aims to evaluate the role that ancient artifacts play when they are appropriated into new artistic settings. I focus on select artifacts of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt and look at different artistic responses to archaeological discoveries. The material culture of these past societies survives in fragmented form. I provide historical context for the ways in which these fragments have been deployed to establish particular ways of a constructing a relationship to the past. The texts I discuss are drawn from a wide range of mediums from paint to lace to television to ceramics. My survey is limited to Europe and the United States from 1800 to present. I also include a selection of my personal objects, which mimic the artistic endeavors of the ancient world. For all of these workshops I question the ways in which art pieces relate to their antique prototype. I explore motivations as to why such a large number of reinterpretations of well-known works continue to be produced and circulated.

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