ROMAN SEXUALITY Images, Myths and Meanings

14 Jan 2011 – 9 Apr 2011

Regular hours

10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
12:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00
10:00 – 16:00

Cost of entry

Admission Free

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Lakeside Arts, Nottingham

Nottingham, United Kingdom


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  • Train: Nottingham
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Co-curated by Clare Pickersgill, University of Nottingham Museum, Dr Paul Roberts, Department of Greece and Rome, British Museum in collaboration with Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham. This exhibition brings together a wide variety of sexual images from Roman art and archaeology and investigates what they meant to those who made and used them. It begins by looking at how Victorian attitudes have affected the way we have collected, displayed and studied these objects including the centrepiece of this exhibition, The Warren Cup. This Roman silver cup, decorated with scenes of homosexual love, is one of the highlights of the British Museum and is central to a wider discussion on sex and sexuality in the Roman world. The exhibition also looks at concepts of sacred and profane love, and the gods, goddesses and myths associated with sexuality. Finally, objects are displayed which to modern eyes may appear to be sexual but which to Roman eyes were not. Instead these objects were filled with other meanings to the Romans, such as fertility, superstition and humour. This exhibition contains objects from the collections of the British Museum and University of Nottingham alongside pieces from Nottingham City Museums and Galleries and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University o Cambridge. Tuesday 15 March 5pm ROMAN SEXUALITY SYMPOSIUM This exhibition, a collaboration between the British Museum, the University of Nottingham Museum and the Manuscripts and Special Collections Department at The University of Nottingham, brings together a wide variety of sexual images from Roman art and archaeology and investigates what they meant to those who made and used them. The symposium, inspired by the objects and themes of the exhibition, will bring together many different perspectives and interpretations in the form of six 10 minute presentations. These may include Art, Archaeology, History, Creative Writing, and Music (a complete list will be available on the Lakeside website nearer the time). The evening will commence with an introduction by Dr Paul Roberts, Senior Curator of Roman archaeology at the British Museum and co-curator of the exhibition. The symposium will be followed by a reception, with an opportunity to view the exhibition. PLEASE NOTE:Some materials in the exhibition contain imagery that could be seen as unsuitable for children. We advise that adults accompany children under the age of 16. The Warren Cup is one of the objects featured in the British Museum and BBC R4 Series ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects'.


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