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Immortales: Norman Hosts the Emperors of Time



Antoninus Pius, 140 A.D. Photo courtesy Capitoline Museums, Rome

 


Regardless of humanity’s long-held and ongoing fascination with fountains of youth, sorcerer’s stones and holy grails, no one actually lives forever.
 

But fame is another story: despite the centuries that lie between their earthly ends and our modern day, more than a dozen denizens of ancient Rome are moving to Norman and taking up residence in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Past presences fill Immortales: The Hall of Emperors of the Capitoline Museums, on display through Dec. 6.


The exhibition contains 20 irreplaceable busts from the Capitoline collection, spanning roughly six centuries in depicting the leaders of the Roman empire: from its founder Octavian Augustus to Honorius, and including Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, Vespasian (who built the Colosseum) and more.

“We chose the portraits based on three principles: the historical importance of the character; the artistic value of the piece; and the ability of the portrait to illustrate a certain shift, a certain change in the history of the art form, of imperial portraiture,” says guest curator Francesca Giani, who describes assembling this all-star collection as “an incredible opportunity.”

Because these are not solely likenesses – part of the viewing experience includes considering what message the subjects were trying to send by ordering the sculptors to make them look younger or more stern and commanding or friendlier.
 

A portrait of an imperial Roman noblewoman, known as the “Fonseca Bust,” carved from white marble between 110-130 A.D. Photo courtesy Capitoline Museums, Rome


Still, there is much of the individual characters of these rulers in their busts; Giani says, “You really get a sense of the presence in our space and time of these people, who were alive at one point … and are still alive in a sense today – 2,000 years later.” That sense is what prompted the title “Immortales,” she adds. “The idea of immortality sort of echoes with Hippocrates’ aphorism that art lasts forever while life ends. These people have reached immortality, in a way, through art.”

Giani also implores Oklahomans not to miss this singular opportunity to view these historic creations: “This is the first time that these portraits have crossed the ocean in the history of humanity, and they will not cross the ocean again in our lifetimes.”

None of us, after all, are immortal. 


Hair Apparent

According to Giani, one aspect of Roman sculptural portraiture that might not immediately register to modern audiences is right in plain sight: atop the head. She explains, “Hairstyle was chosen very carefully, to indicate affiliation with a previous emperor, perhaps. For instance, Nero – who descended directly from Augustus and whose regency was somewhat controversial – used the so-called Julio-Claudian hairstyle, which was modeled after Augustus, so that was his way to legitimize his at-that-point compromised position.”

The idea was that people seeing him with a coiffure like his venerated ancestor would think better of him due to the tonsorial resemblance.

“The portraits are full of visual clues,” says Giani, “so I think the exhibit is very important in that it shows how art communicates, like a hidden language.”

 

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Calendar

May 2019

Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass this Memorial Day Weekend! Get a full day of fun at Andy Alligator’s Fun Park and Water Park for only $29.99. A Dual Park Pass includes Unlimited Rides &...

Cost: Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass!

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Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Place
Norman, OK  73072
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
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1 NE 3rd st
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Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
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Cost: $4 - $6

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
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Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

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Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass this Memorial Day Weekend! Get a full day of fun at Andy Alligator’s Fun Park and Water Park for only $29.99. A Dual Park Pass includes Unlimited Rides &...

Cost: Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass!

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Place
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

More than 90 visual artists will line the streets of the Historic Paseo Arts District, selling original artwork in a wide variety of media, from painting and photography to wood and jewelry, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Paseo Arts District
3022 Paseo
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View map »


Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
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Website »

More information

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Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
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Cost: Free

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ARTSPACE at Untitled
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: $6 adults

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
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1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd Street
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Let’s kick off Her Flag on June 1, from 6 - 9 p.m. and a toast at 7 p.m.! Marilyn Artus has been working on Her Flag since she came up with the idea in the summer of 2017. She is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd Street
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Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
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The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District & Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma...

Cost: Adults $20; Seniors and Children $15

Where:
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

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