Kimberly Cassibry

Kimberly Cassibry

(781) 283-2182
B.A., Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge); M.A., University of Texas (Austin); Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)

Kimberly Cassibry
Assistant Professor of Art

Art historian focusing on cross-cultural connections in the ancient Mediterranean

One misconception about conducting researching around the Mediterranean is that the weather will always be nice. In fact, snow does fall in Morocco, and, on deceptively beautiful springtime days in Provence, the fierce Mistral wind can freeze your fingers numb. Visiting these regions is, nonetheless, the best way to study the ancient Roman world. Rome itself constituted only a small part of an empire stretching from Britain to Tunisia and from Morocco to Iraq. Traditionally, however, this one city has dominated Roman Studies. In my research and teaching, I aim to bring provincial communities into sharper focus and to re-envision the empire from their perspective.

Many of my research ideas come from the classroom, and I take pleasure in introducing students to a broad range of ancient cultures. My lecture courses on Roman, Greek, Celtic, Etruscan, and Near Eastern art and architecture emphasize cross-cultural exchange. My advanced seminars often cut across regional boundaries. Ancient Palaces and Villas (Arth 302), for example, develops a comparative analysis of Persian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and Roman royal art and architecture. Antiquities Today (Arth 373), constructs an historical frame around current repatriation, conservation, and acquisition debates. For all of these courses, I plan field trips to local museums and rare book collections, including Wellesley’s Davis Museum and Clapp Library Special Collections, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. On campus, I hold class outside at the Greek Theater as often as possible.

Most recently, I joined my colleagues Bryan Burns and Lisa Fischman in curating Festina Lente:  Conserving Antiquity. This Spring 2013 exhibit brought nearly 200 Greek and Roman artworks out of storage in order to inaugurate a new era of research and conservation of the Davis Museum’s permanent antiquities collection. At the College Art Association’s annual conference in New York  this past spring, I co-chaired a session of papers focused on rethinking the canon of Roman Art History in light of recent excavations. I have especially enjoyed participating in the Getty’s three-year “Arts of Rome’s Provinces” traveling seminar, which has held sessions in Britain (2011), Greece (2012), and the Getty Villa (2013). During the 2013-2014 academic year, I will be a research fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where I aim to complete my book manuscript entitled Resilient Esthetics:  Classical Encounters in Celtic France and Britain, 200 BCE-200 CE.


Getty Foundation traveling seminar on the Arts of Rome’s Provinces at Hadrian’s Wall

photo of group hiking