Irene B Romano
- Professor, Art
- Professor, Anthropology
- Curator, Mediterranean Archaeology
Irene Bald Romano holds a joint appointment as Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Professor of Anthropology in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She also holds affiliated appointment in the Department of Religious Studies and Classics and in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and is the Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Arizona State Museum. From 2012 to 2015 she held the administrative appointment of Deputy Director of the Arizona State Museum.
Dr. Romano earned a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Manhattanville College. She has more than 30 years of experience as a museum professional, holding many positions, including as registrar, curator, researcher, consultant, and coordinator of the collections division at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. Dr. Romano moved to the University of Arizona in 2012 from a position she held for six years as Executive Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
She is the author or co-author of six books as well as numerous articles on ancient Mediterranean collections, Greek and Roman sculpture, pottery, terracotta figurines, Greek cult practice, and marble provenance studies. She has extensive archaeological field experience in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Turkey, and has worked with scholars from many countries on international research and museum projects.
Dr. Romano is currently part of a German-American research group studying issues of Nazi-era confiscations and restitution, especially focused on the fate of antiquities in the period from 1933 to 1945. She is also writing a monograph on a portrait of Alexander the Great from ancient Nysa-Scythopolis (Beth Shean, Israel).
- Ph.D. Classical Archaeology
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Early Greek Cult Images
- B.A. English Literature
- Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York, United States
- Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona (2012 - 2015)
- School of Anthropology, University of Arizona (2012 - 2015)
- School of Art, University of Arizona (2012 - 2015)
- American School of Classical Studies at Athens (2006 - 2012)
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2003)
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (2000 - 2004)
- Franklin and Marshall College (1990)
- Self-employed (1989 - 2006)
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (1985 - 1989)
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (1984 - 1988)
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1982 - 1987)
- University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (1981 - 1984)
- Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award
- School of Art, University of Arizona, Summer 2017
- Benjamin Franklin Research Grant
- American Philosophical Society, Summer 2016
- Faculty Small Grant
- College of Fine Arts and School of Art, University of Arizona, Summer 2016
- Marcia and Oded Borowski Research Fellowship
- Albright Institute of Archaeology, Jerusalem, Summer 2016
- NEH Summer Stipend
- University of Arizona/National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2016 (Award Nominee)
- Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Archaeological Institute of America at the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
- Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI), Berlin, Summer 2015
- College of Fine Arts Faculty Small Grant and School of Art Fund for Excellence
- College of Fine Arts and School of Art, Spring 2015
Professor Romano's research interests are Greek and Roman sculpture, marble provenience studies, the history of museum collections, Greek and Roman cult practices, ancient gardens, and Nazi-Era provenance research, especially on antiquities that were confiscated or transferred from 1933 to 1945 in Europe and the Middle East.
Professor Romano teaches courses on plundered art from antiquity to the present day, cultural heritage issues, museum studies, as well as ancient art and archaeology of the Mediterranean region.
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Spring 2021)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeANTH 349 (Spring 2021)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeCLAS 349 (Spring 2021)
Independent StudyARH 399 (Spring 2021)
InternshipANTH 393 (Spring 2021)
ThesisARH 910 (Spring 2021)
Critical Issues for MuseumsANTH 372 (Fall 2020)
Independent StudyARH 499 (Fall 2020)
InternshipARH 593 (Fall 2020)
Issues: Art HistoryARH 596O (Fall 2020)
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Spring 2020)
Art As PlunderARH 501A (Spring 2020)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeANTH 349 (Spring 2020)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeCLAS 349 (Spring 2020)
InternshipARH 393 (Spring 2020)
InternshipARH 493 (Spring 2020)
InternshipARH 593 (Spring 2020)
Critical Issues for MuseumsANTH 372 (Fall 2019)
Topics In Museum StudiesARH 500 (Fall 2019)
Topics in Museum StudiesARH 400 (Fall 2019)
InternshipARH 593 (Summer I 2019)
ThesisARH 910 (Spring 2019)
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Spring 2018)
Art As PlunderARH 501A (Spring 2018)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeANTH 349 (Spring 2018)
Daily Life in Anc. Greece/RomeCLAS 349 (Spring 2018)
Independent StudyARH 599 (Spring 2018)
InternshipARH 393 (Spring 2018)
InternshipARH 493 (Spring 2018)
InternshipARH 593 (Spring 2018)
Critical Issues for MuseumsANTH 372 (Fall 2017)
Greek+Roman Sculpture: Sym/SocARH 454 (Fall 2017)
Greek+Roman Sculpture: Sym/SocARH 554 (Fall 2017)
Greek+Roman Sculpture: Sym/SocCLAS 454 (Fall 2017)
Greek+Roman Sculpture: Sym/SocCLAS 554 (Fall 2017)
Honors ThesisARH 498H (Fall 2017)
InternshipARH 493 (Fall 2017)
InternshipARH 593 (Fall 2017)
Topics In Museum StudiesARH 500 (Fall 2017)
Topics in Museum StudiesARH 400 (Fall 2017)
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Summer I 2017)
InternshipARH 593 (Summer I 2017)
Intro Roman Art+ArchARH 340B (Summer I 2017)
Intro Roman Art+ArchCLAS 340B (Summer I 2017)
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Spring 2017)
Art As PlunderARH 501A (Spring 2017)
Honors ThesisARH 498H (Spring 2017)
InternshipANTH 493 (Spring 2017)
InternshipARH 493 (Spring 2017)
InternshipARH 593 (Spring 2017)
Sp Top ArchaeologyANTH 595A (Spring 2017)
Critical Issues for MuseumsANTH 372 (Fall 2016)
Independent StudyARH 599 (Fall 2016)
InternshipARH 593 (Fall 2016)
Topics In Art HistoryARH 480 (Fall 2016)
Topics In Art HistoryARH 580 (Fall 2016)
Honors ThesisANTH 498H (Summer I 2016)
InternshipARH 593 (Summer I 2016)
Art As PlunderARH 401A (Spring 2016)
Art As PlunderARH 501A (Spring 2016)
Honors ThesisANTH 498H (Spring 2016)
InternshipANTH 493 (Spring 2016)
InternshipARH 393 (Spring 2016)
InternshipARH 593 (Spring 2016)
InternshipARH 693 (Spring 2016)
Sp Topic ArchaeologyANTH 395A (Spring 2016)
- Romano, I. B. (2018). Restaging Greek Artworks in Roman Times. Milan: LED Edizione Universitarie.More infoRestaging Greek Artworks in Roman TimesEdited by Gianfranco Adornato, Irene Bald Romano, Gabriella Cirucci, and Alessandro Poggio This volume offers a collection of essays dealing with the material and immaterial reuse of Greek Art in Roman times from different perspectives and with regard to a wide range of contexts and aspects. The theme and the issues addressed in the book stem from two research projects led by Prof. Adornato and hosted by the SAET Laboratory of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa: Beyond Pliny (PRIN-MIUR Fund, Research Project of National Interest) and Nobilia Opera? (SNS Internal Research Fund). The first part of the book developed out of the International Conference Athena Nike della Fondazione Sorgente Group. Un originale greco a Roma, held at the Scuola Normale in Pisa (April, 3-4 2014). The second part resulted from a session organized by Gabriella Cirucci and Alessandro Poggio and proposed to the 25th Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, held in Leicester in March 2015, to which other invited essays by specialists have been added. The book opens with a discussion of the Sorgente Athena, a recently published fifth-century B.C. Greek original that exemplifies very well some of the most common issues that arise when dealing with the reuse of Greek artworks in Roman context. The essays collected in the first part of the volume address the still open questions about the original aspect, primary and secondary function of the statue, what happened to it after its transition to Rome, its possible iconographic and typological relationship with the Athena in the Glencairn Museum. The second part of the book further explores the material re-staging and transformation of Greek artworks in Roman times by presenting a choice of cases ranging from the Ialysus by Protogenes, one of the most famous paintings in Antiquity that was transferred to Rome and exhibited in the Templum Pacis, to the Greek votive reliefs re-staged in private residencies in Roman Campania, to the reception of Greek works of art over time, with examples drawn from the city of Rome and from Greece under Roman rule.The final section of the book, dealing with the immaterial (metaphorical) recontextualization of Greek artworks, presents three case studies that revise the current interpretation of Roman statues usually understood as derivative from Greek prototypes by illuminating overlooked aspects of their materiality, of their formal qualities and typology, and of their contexts of use. The afterword intends to offer a critical assessment of the book’s content, thus contributing to locate it within the current scientific debate on the role played by Greek Art in Roman art and visual culture.ContentsPreface and Acknowledgements General IntroductionPart I: The Athena Nike of the Fondazione Sorgente Group1) Gabriella Cirucci (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), The “Greek Originals” in Rome: Ancient and Contemporary Perspectives.2) Arne Thomsen (Universität des Saarlandes), Athena, Nike, Athena Nike. Some iconographic Considerations3) Kenneth Lapatin (The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), Athena Nike and Athena’s Nike 4) Irene Bald Romano (The University of Arizona, Tucson), A Reexamination of the Glencairn Athena/Minerva and its Relationship to the Fondazione Sorgente Group Athena5) Olga Palagia (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), A New Interpretation of the Sorgente Athena as Part of an Athenian Pediment6) Alexandra Carpino (Northern Arizona University), The Iconography of the Winged Menrva on Etruscan Engraved Bronze Mirrors from the 5th to Early 3rd centuries BCEPart II: Restaging Greek Artworks in Roman Times7) Eva Falaschi (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), More than Words. Re-staging Protogenes’ Ialysus. The many lives of an artwork between Greece and Rome 8) Marina Caso (Università di Napoli Federico II), Greek Sculptures in Roman Age Contexts: the case of Campania 9) Alessandro Poggio (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), "The Great Beauty". Greek Art and Urban Environment in Imperial Rome 10) Linda Pozzani (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), Made by the Athenian Κλεομένης Κλεομένους. The work of a Greek sculptor displayed in Rome 11) Gianfranco Adornato (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa), The Dilemma of the Prima Porta Augustus: Polykleitos or not Polykleitos? 12) Mariateresa Curcio (La Sapienza, Università di Roma), Body Models in Roman Nude Portraits: Re-staging Polykleitos? Afterword BibliographiesIndicesIllustrations_______________________________________
- Romano, I. B. (2020). A Colossal Roman Acrolith from Scythopolis. In Spondy: Tributes in Memory of Giorgios Despinis(pp 941-954). Athens, Greece: The Benaki Museum.More infoEight marble finger and hand fragments were excavated in the 1920s from a Byzantine cistern on the tell of ancient Scythopolis, modern Beth Shean, Israel. These belong to a colossal acrolithic statue, approximately eight to ten times life-sized, probably representing the founding deity of the city, Dionysos, or his father, Zeus (Akraios or Olympios), or a deity attested at Scythopolis that was a conflation of the two, Zeus Bakchos. It likely served as the cult image of the Roman temple on the acropolis of the city. A date for the statue in the second half of the 2nd or early the 3rd century AD coincides with the main period of marble importation to a region that had no marble resources of its own. Roman acroliths in Syria-Palestine are rare, with only three others that are archaeologically attested: a foot from Caesarea Maritima; a foot from Ashkelon; and hand and arm fragments from Philadelphia (Amman).
- Romano, I. B. (2020). Landscape and Gardens of the Roman Villa by Lake Nemi, loc. S. Maria. In A Roman Villa by Lake Nemi: Topography and Architecture(pp 326-364). Rome, Italy: Edizioni Quasar/University of Aarhus, Denmark/Carlsberg Foundation.More infoFinal publication of the excavation of the gardens of a Roman villa on the shores of Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills resulting in a reconstruction of aspects of the ancient landscape around Lake Nemi during the life of the villa and a description of the specific garden areas of the villa. The evidence includes soil analysis, palaeobotanical analysis, pollen cores, mollusks, as well as primary excavation data.
- Romano, I. B. (2018). A Reexamination of the Glencairn Athena/Minerva and its Relationship to the Fondazione Sorgente Group Athena. In Restaging Greek Artworks in Roman Times(pp 15-34 (as well as co-author of Introduction)). Milan: LED Universitarie Edizione.
- Romano, I. B. (2018). Two Imperial Monuments in Puteoli: Use of Proconnesian Marble in the Domitianic and Trajanic Periods in Campania. In Proceedings of ASMOSIA XI International Conference in Split, Croatia, May 18-23, 2015(pp 267-273). Split, Croatia: Sveučilište u Splitu Publications, University of Split, Croatia.More infoThis article is focused on two major public monuments of the Domitianic and Trajanic periods from Puteoli (modern Pozzuoli) on the Bay of Naples. There are no architectural traces of these monuments in Pozzuoli today and their specific ancient locations are not known. Our knowledge of them, therefore, is based on two major joining marble panels, one in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia and the other in the Neues Museum in Berlin. Scientific analyses of the marble of both panels show they are of Proconnesian marble, providing evidence for identifying other possible fragments of the monuments. In addition, the precisely-dated inscription of AD 95–96 on one side of the Philadelphia panel is an important example of a monument constructed by imperial order made of Proconnesian marble, establishing another fixed point in the late Flavian period for the use of this marble in the Italic peninsula.
- Romano, I. B. (2017). "Traditional Stone Working Tools" and"Marble Working Technique in Carrara: An Annotated Bibliography". In Le Mani che Lavorano: Il Marmo di Carrara/Hands at Works: Carrara Marble(pp pp. 60-75 and 92-96). Milan, Italy: International Traditional Knowledge Institute/Bandececchi and Vivaldi.More infoTwo bi-lingual chapters with Italian collaborator, Luisa Passeggia, in a scholarly book on the history of marble production in the quarries of Carrara, Italy. The book was also used to accompany the application of the city of Carrara for UNESCO status of "International City of Art and Crafts," which was granted in the fall of 2017.
- Romano, I. B. (2020). "The Most Important Hellenistic Sculpture Found in the Holy Land": A Roman Portrait of Alexander the Great from Beth Shean. Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology, 12, 14 illustrations.
- Romano, I. B., Tait, W. J., Bisulca, C., Creasman, P. P., Hodgins, G. W., & Wazny, T. J. (2018). An Ancient Egyptian Senet Board in the Arizona State Museum. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 145(1), 71-85.More infoThis is a publication of a wooden fragment of an ancient Egyptian game board (senet) in the collections of the Arizona State Museum, with an exploration of its collecting history, the wood species, the inlay substance, the meaning of the hieroglyphic inscriptions, its radiocarbon date, and its place in the history of such game boards.
- Romano, I. B. (2017). "ASM and its Place in Museum History". Glyphs (Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society), 68(3), pp. 12-14.More infoBrief article on the history of Arizona State Museum and its place in museum history.
- Romano, I. B. (2018). An Ancient Egyptian Senet Board in the Arizona State Museum. Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde (ZÄS), 1-15.More infoLead author with W. John Tait, Christina Bisulca, Pearce Paul Creasman, and Gregory Hodgins of an article on a rare ancient Egyptian game board discovered in the collection of the Arizona State Museum in which we discuss the provenance, decoration and hieroglyphs, the inlay substance, the wood species, and the date, established by radiocarbon technique.
- Romano, I. B. (2016). Old World Meets New World: Biography of an Egyptian Collection in the Sonoran Desert. Journal of the Southwest, 58(2), 189-236.More infoAnalysis of the formation of the Egyptian Collection at the Arizona State Museum and the nexus among New World and Old World archaeologists and institutions in the early 20th century.
- Romano, D. G., Romano, I. B., & Davis, G. H. (2015). “The Monument Landscape and Associated Geology at the Sanctuary of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion”. Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity, Asmosia X, X, 429-436.More infoP. Pensabene and E. Gasparini, eds.
- Romano, I. B. (2019, April). Keynote Speech: "Plundered, Displaced, and Missing: The Fate of Antiquities in the Nazi Era". 13th Annual Council of Graduate Art Historians' Symposium. Tempe, Arizona: Council of Graduate Art Historians.
- Romano, I. B. (2019, November). A Roman Portrait of Alexander the Great from Scythopolis. Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). San Diego, CA: American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).
- Romano, I. B. (2019, October). Collaborative Research Projects: Funding and Prospects (Panel). Provenance Research Exchange Program (PREP) Meeting. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute.
- Romano, I. B. (2019, October). Object Lessons: German and American Perspectives on Provenance Research on Collections from Colonial and Nazi Contexts. Public Forum/Panel Discussion sponsored by the German Historical Institute. Washington, D.C.: German Historical Institute.More infoI was the moderator and a panelist for this public panel discussion. I communicated with the panelists, designed the questions for the panelists, directed the panel discussion, contributing my voice to issues related to Nazi-era and colonial-era confiscations and restitution claims.
- Romano, I. B. (2019, October). The Ancient Mediterranean World: Collections in the Arizona State Museum. Meeting of Docents of Arizona State Museum. Tucson, Arizona: Arizona State Museum Docents Council.
- Romano, I. B., Wazny, T. J., Tait, W. J., Hodgins, G. W., Bisulca, C., Creasman, P. P., Bisulca, C., Creasman, P. P., Tait, W. J., Hodgins, G. W., Wazny, T. J., & Romano, I. B. (2018, April). A Multidisciplinary Approach to Interpreting a Senet Board in the Arizona State Museum. Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Tucson.
- Romano, I. B., Tait, W. J., Bisulca, C., Creasman, P. P., Hodgins, G. W., & Wazny, T. J. (2017, March). Analysis of An Ancient Egyptian Game Board in the Arizona State Museum. Samuel H. Kress Foundation Symposium on Conservation and Technology in Art History. Tucson: University of Arizona Museum of Art.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, June). "Alexander in Scythopolis?. Invited Lecture. Tel Aviv, Israel: Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures & Sonia & Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University.More infoA lecture for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv U. about my on-going research on a marble head of Alexander the Great from Beth Shean, Israel (ancient Scythopolis) and the archaeological and literary evidence for Alexander in ancient Israel.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, November). The Ancient Egyptian Game of Senet. Family Culture Day at Arizona State Museum. Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona: Arizona State Museum.More infoSitting at a table with an ancient Egyptian game board from the collection of the Arizona State Museum, I talked to visitors (family groups with adults and children of all ages) about ancient board games and how the ancient Egyptian game of senet was played.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, October). A Short History of Museums. Invited Lecture. Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona: Docents of Arizona State Museum.More infoA lecture about the history of museums, putting the Arizona State Museum in the context of American museums in the 19th century.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, October). A Statue of Alexander the Great(?) and an Acrolithic Colossos from the Roman Acropolis of Scythopolis (Beth Shean, Israel). Invited Colloquium Lecture. Tucson, AZ: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS), University of Arizona.More infoIn celebration of International Archaeology Day, I was invited to present my current research on marble sculptures from the site of Beth Shean (ancient Scythopolis) in Israel, including a head of Alexander the Great and colossal fingers from an acrolithic statue.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, September). Agatha Christie and Archaeology. Invited Lecture. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ: Archaeological Institute of America, Central Arizona Chapter.More infoDr. Irene Bald Romano brings to life Agatha Christie’s archaeological experiences and the cast of archaeological characters that inspired some of her fictional characters. Married to archaeologist Max Mallowan, Agatha Christie worked alongside her husband at famous Near Eastern sites such as Ur (where they first met and which inspired Murder in Mesopotamia, 1936), Nineveh, and Nimrud, places that have recently been in the news as targets of destruction by ISIS. Dr. Romano will present a glimpse of these sites as they were in the days of Mallowan and Christie and their current sad state.
- Wazny, T. J., Hodgins, G. W., Creasman, P. P., Bisulca, C., Tait, W. J., & Romano, I. B. (2018, April). A Multidisciplinary Approach to Interpreting a Senet Board in the Arizona State Museum. Annual Meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt. Tucson.
- Romano, I. B. (2017, August). "American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA)". Springer Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology.More infoEncyclopedia entry (with co-author Jack L. Davis), in hard copy and online. Revised 2nd edition.
- Romano, I. B. (2016, March). All that Glitters is Not Gold: Glencairn's Siren Cauldron Attachment. Glencairn Museum News. https://glencairnmuseum.org/newsletter/2016/6/17/all-that-glitters-is-not-gold-glencairns-siren-cauldron-attachmentMore infoLead author with David Gilman Romano of an invited scholarly article (19 pages) on a Near Eastern bronze cauldron attachment for an online publication of a museum near Philadelphia where David Romano and I have researched and published the Classical collections.
- “The Monument Landscape and Associated Geology at the Sanctuary of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion"; Print publication; Bretschneider; September 2015; Proceedings of ASMOSIA X International Conference, “La Sapienza,” Universita di Roma
- Catalogue Entries on Roman Sculpture from Tel Batna, Syria and sculptures from unknown sites; print publication; DeGruyter, Germany; May 2021; Sculptures from Roman Syria (SFRS), Vol. 2: The Marble Statuary.; Edited by D. Kreikenborn, T.M. Weber, Mustafa Kocak, and K.-U. Mahler
- “Old World Meets New World: Biography of an Egyptian Collection in the Sonoran Desert"; Print journal; Southwest Center, University of Arizona; June 2016; Journal of the Southwest; A history of the Egyptian collection of the Arizona State Museum with particular emphasis on the motivations for forming such a collection in a museum devoted to the cultures of the Southwest and on the intersection of Old World archaeology with American archaeology and the formation of the discipline of Southwest Archaeology.
- Villa and Temple. Nemus: Villa Nemorensi (the Villa of Julius Caesar?) and the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis (Lake Nemi, Italy),; Print and online publication; Cambridge U. Press; February 2017; Gardens of the Roman Empire; Accepted for publication.
- “A Ptolemaic Royal Portrait in the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona"; online journal; Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (JAEI); April 2014; Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (JAEI)