Intaglio with Portrait of a Ptolemaic Queen

Intaglio with Portrait of a Ptolemaic Queen. Roman. 1st century BC. Chalcedony var. cornelian. Gift of the Estate of Michael J. Shubin.

Though now often considered a monolith of whiteness, the material and visual culture of ancient Greece and Rome included representations of diverse peoples and groups, including people of African origin. Offering a survey of examples from the Carlos Museum’s collection of Greek and Roman art, curator Ruth Allen asks what these images tell us about matters of race and racial prejudice in classical art as well as whether and how we might sensitively engage them in debates about race in contemporary society.