Well Traveled

Exploring Greece to Understand "The Most Social of the Arts"

Bonna Wescoat
Emory Photo/Video

Emory art history professor Bonna Wescoat is spearheading a two-year international traveling seminar program to explore ancient Greek architecture, funded by a $246,000 Getty Foundation grant.

“A chief goal of the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories program is to bring scholars and students together to catalyze potential partnerships and collaborations, particularly in areas of the world where there have been challenges in communication for one reason or another, such as politics or economics or different cultural frameworks for education,” says Wescoat, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History.

The new grant builds on Wescoat’s expertise in researching and teaching about the art and architecture of ancient Greece. Since 1977, she has traveled to the Greek island of Samothrace for excavations meant to uncover the history and legacy of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. She was named director of excavations in 2012, overseeing work at one of the most significant ancient sanctuaries in Greece.

The traveling group’s focus, she says, is how building design, techniques, and materials—and the ideas they conveyed—were communicated from the Aegean Greek world into areas such as Thrace, a wealthy ancient kingdom in the highlands of Bulgaria, or the communities that dotted the Black Sea coast.

The people of these regions, “where you find a wide range of different ethnicities, climates, and geographic configurations, explored innovative ways to use Greek architectural ideas to serve local aims and connect their communities with the greater Mediterranean,” Wescoat explains. “As the most social of the arts, architecture serves as a springboard for examining many aspects of ancient life.”

Email the Editor

Share This Story