Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 6:00pm

via Zoom

Jill and John Avery Lecture in the History of Art, Milette Gaifman, Professor of Classics & History of Art, Yale University

"The Compressed Image and the Modern History of Greek Art"

Today, when we speak of a compressed image, we typically mean a digital image whose size has been reduced by deleting or grouping together some of the initial file’s components. The lecture shows how various types of reproduction used from the eighteenth century to the present had a similar effect of compressing ancient Greek images; engravings, lithographs and plaster casts of Greek painted vases and relief sculpture have removed or merged together some of the originals’ traits. More profoundly, modern replications have compressed our understanding of ancient Greek images, so we have lost grasp of fundamental subtleties and nuances. We may undo the processes of image compression by examining the impact of the technologies we use for documenting artworks.  

Milette Gaifman is a scholar of ancient art and archaeology, focusing primarily on Greek art of the Archaic and Classical periods. She is jointly appointed in the departments of Classics and History of Art at Yale University. Additionally, she is the Coeditor-in-Chief of the The Art Bulletin, a position she shares with Lillian Lan-ying Tseng of New York University.

Professor Gaifman is the author of Aniconism in Greek Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Art of Libation in Classical Athens (Yale University Press, 2018); and coeditor of Exploring Aniconism, thematic issue of Religion 47, (2017); and The Embodied Object in Classical Antiquity, special issue of Art History (June 2018). Her current book project, Classification and the History of Greek Art and Architecture (forthcoming with Chicago University Press), is the revised and expanded version of the "Louise Smith Bross Lectures" that she delivered at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago in May 2018. Among her honors and awards are the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication from Yale College (2009), and the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize from the MacMillan Center at Yale (2013). She was a visiting scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 2008-2009 and an invited professor at the University of Paris Diderot - Paris 7 in 2015.