Dr. Jared Simard presents:
Mythical Spaces: The Greco-Roman Gods and the Built Environment of New York City
New York City is primarily thought of as a modern metropolis full of glass-clad skyscrapers. New York City is also known for its diverse citizenry. That diversity extends to the architectural spaces of the city too. Thanks to landmark preservation laws from the 1960s, parts of the city’s built environment retain the neoclassical architectural and sculpture of previous eras. These buildings and sculptures are a testament to a time when the Greco-Roman gods beautified the cityscape. Rockefeller Center, built in the 1930s, long after the decline of neoclassicism in the United States, is home to several sculptures of Greco-Roman gods as well as architectural sculpture and relief. Extensive archival research and unpublished archival photos demonstrate that John D. Rockefeller Jr., the sole patron of the complex of thirteen buildings that bear his family’s name, identified with specific Greco-Roman gods which were used in the decorative program of Rockefeller Center to convey the significance of his endeavors. In particular, Paul Manship’s Prometheus and Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan’s Atlas anchor a decorative program of over one hundred individual artworks. The central location of the two sculptures as well as their unique iconographical features point to their importance in understanding the overall decorative program.
Dr. Jared Simard received his Ph.D. in Classics from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2016 and is currently a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow in New York University’s School of Liberal Studies. His scholarship primarily focuses on mythology and its reception in modernity.
When: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Free and open to the public