Kimberly Cassibry

Kimberly Cassibry
kcassibry@wellesley.edu
(781) 283-2182
Art
B.A., Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge); M.A., University of Texas (Austin); Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)
Jewett 356
Kimberly Cassibry
Associate Professor of Art

Art and architectural historian specializing in the ancient Mediterranean.


book cover for Destinations in Mind, pale greenish gradient background with etched glass vessel in the centerMy research focuses on the ancient Mediterranean and asks what art and architecture can tell us about international relations and the experience of empire.

My book Destinations in Mind: Portraying Places on the Roman Empire's Souvenirs addresses vessels with labeled depictions of particular places, looks closely at the design of their words and images, and traces their travels around the empire. For the OUP blog, I wrote a post with tips for traveling the Roman empire. I have also launched a companion website with bonus content, links to online resources, and over a thousand photographs from my research and travels.

The book I am working on now is called Memorable Monuments: Designing and Transforming Triumphal Arches. This is a passion project that builds on twenty years of research. Case studies draw new attention to twenty triumphal arches-- ancient and modern and from the Americas to Asia. Together, they establish an updated canon full of innovative designs (think of bubbling fountains and zodiac archways) and unusual settings (think of soaring bridges and traffic circles). Each case study demonstrates how monuments change over their long lives, sometimes recycled for building materials and sometimes rededicated with electronic billboards. Designs and transformations make these monuments memorable. Visitors often reflect on the multi-sensory experiences that they offer, rather than on the monument's original purpose. These are just a few of the ideas that I explore in the study and I am eager to begin writing the book during my sabbatical (2022-2023).

I am also fascinated by the Celts (also known as the Gauls or Galatians), especially the mesmerizing aesthetics of their art, the longevity of the ethnic stereotypes depicting them in Greek and Roman art, and the losses and creative transformations that followed Rome's annexation of Celtic territories. I have published and given talks on these issues and particularly on the statue known as the Dying Gaul.

My courses on the ancient Mediterranean and Mesopotamia address the political and social uses of art and architecture, as well as the modern lives of antiquities. Because seeing art in person is fundamental to understanding it, my classes analyze collections not just on campus, but also in nearby museums. They also explore and critique technologies of replication, from plaster casts to 3D prints.

I am honored to have received the 2019 Pinanski Teaching Prize and to serve as president of the college's chapter of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa.

Selected Publications

Selected Talks and Conference Panels

Selected Fellowships

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pat O'Connell Memorial Fellowship, 2013-2014
  • Getty Foundation, Art of Rome's Provinces seminar, 2010-2013
  • Social Science Research Council, 2007-2008

students in the Knapp Technology Center with a 3D printed bust of Nefertiti

3D printed Nefertiti in the Knapp Technology Center with ARTH/CLCV 373 Antiquities Today