DECEMBER SPEAKER: Dr. Bernice Jones

HAUTE COUTURE IN ANCIENT GREECE:
THE SPECTACULAR WORLD OF ARIADNE AND HELEN OF TROY

This lecture brings to life the fabulous world of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations of 2000-1200 B.C.E. immortalized by Homer. By stepping through time into their splendid palaces decorated with scenes of courtly life, their special rituals are reconstructed along with the magnificent costumes worn to carry them out. Of the utmost luxury and decorated with exquisite patterns and appliqués of gold and precious gems and topped with exquisite jewelry, the costumes are the royal regalia of queens and goddesses. No longer preserved, the costumes are replicated through detailed analysis of art and texts and draped on live models posed as in art and juxtaposed with the sculptures and wall paintings they imitate. Fragments of frescoes found out of context are digitally reassembled and reconstructed to restore once lost, spectacular scenes of palatial and everyday life. Ultimately the reconstructed costumes and wall paintings virtually bring Homer’s heroes and heroines to life and emphasize their concurrent ancient, contemporary and eternal significance.

Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in the Art and Archaeology of Greece, Rome and the ancient Near East, specializing on costumes and interconnections in the Bronze Age Aegean. She has taught at Queens College, Parsons School of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Manhattanville College’s Summer in Greece Program, and has published her findings in her book, Ariadne’s Threads: The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age. She has lectured nationally and internationally on Minoan and Mycenaean dress and on her digital reconstructions of Aegean frescoes. Her costume replicas have been the subject of exhibitions both here and abroad. Dr. Jones has participated in archaeological excavations in Greece (Santorini/Thera) and is a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC).