Assistant Professor of Art History
Ancient Mediterranean Art
DPhil, Brasenose College, University of Oxford
MSt, University of Oxford
B.A., Stanford University
Appointed 2016, Program in Art History
Alexandra Sofroniew specializes in ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art, the history and archaeology of pre-Roman Italy and Sicily, and the material culture of ancient religions. A classical archaeologist and museum curator by training, she has excavated in Sicily and central Italy and was assistant curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and exhibition curator at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She has worked on diverse aspects of ancient Mediterranean art and culture, from underwater archaeology around Sicily to early votive dedications and Roman domestic religion. Her first book is Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome.
Ancient Mediterranean Art: introductory survey of ancient Mediterranean art, with emphasis on the art of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome
Early Greek Art: the art of ancient Greece from its origins in the early first millennium BCE to the Classical period, mid-fifth century BCE
Later Greek Art: explores the art of ancient Greece from the Classical period, mid-fifth century BCE through the end of the Hellenistic period, first century BCE, and the Roman conquest of Greece
Roman Art: traces Roman art from the founding of Rome, eighth century BCE, through the dissolution of the Roman Empire in the fourth century CE. Emphasizes the art of Rome and the Roman provinces.
Architecture and Urbanism in Mediterranean Antiquity: architectural forms, materials and construction methods, and urban planning in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Roman Empire.
Museum Training: Exhibition Methods: what is a museum exhibition? Who decides what story to tell and which objects to display? This seminar explores questions of audience, interpretation, visitor engagement, and ethics of display as well as the practicalities of the process from crafting an exhibition proposal through to design and content development.
The Ancient Artist: investigates the concept of the artist in ancient Greece and Rome, where most artworks were made by anonymous craftsmen. Uses examples from sculpture, vase-painting, mosaics, gems, coins, and buildings to explore the lives and status of ancient artists, including the famous few whose names have survived to us today. What does it mean to sign one’s work?
Household Gods: Private Devotion in Ancient Greece and Rome (Los Angeles, CA: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016)
“A Sicilian Odyssey. Behind the scenes of the Ashmolean’s extraordinary new exhibition Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas,” in ARA News, The Association for Roman Archaeology, 35 (2016), 3-7
“Uncovering, Preserving and Presenting the Past: Sicilian Archaeology and Heritage,” in Sicily and the Sea, (eds.) D. Burgersdijk, R. Calis, A. Sofroniew, S. Tusa, R. van Beek (Amsterdam: Allard Pierson Museum with WBooks, 2015), 169-172
Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome, Exhibition Catalogue, (eds.) C. L. Lyons, M. Bennett, C. Marconi, with A. Sofroniew (Los Angeles, CA: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013)
Catalogue entries on “Attic Red-Figure Bell-Krater” and “Ostracon with Eye-salve prescriptions,” in Hygieia: Health, Illness and Treatment from Homer to Galen (Athens: Museum of Cycladic Art, 2014), pp. 161-63; 290-91
“Women’s Work: The Dedication of Loom Weights in the Sanctuaries of Southern Italy,” in A. C. Smith and M.E. Bergeron (eds.), The Gods of Small Things. Pallas Revue d’études Antiques 86 (2011), pp. 191-209
Exhibition: Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, 21 June – 25 September, 2016
Exhibition: Sicily and the Sea: Dive into the Past, Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam, 9 October, 2015 – 17 April, 2016