The CU Art Museum’s collection is comprises examples of ancient art from Meso-America, Southeast Asia, China and Iran, as well as from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.
Highlights of the museum’s ancient and classical collections are the Wilton Jaffee Roman Coins, featuring rare coins that reflect the entire history of the Roman Empire. The silver coin shown to the right was minted 54 – 55 CE to commemorate the death and deification of the emperor Claudius, who died in 54 CE. Claudius’ reign fell between two of the most infamous Roman emperors in history: Caligula and Nero. Many people have credited his wife Agrippina the Younger with his murder, who was the sister of Caligula and the ambitious mother of Nero.
Other ancient and classical artifacts include Roman glass vessels and ancient Iranian pottery. About half of the Roman glass vessels in this collection were used to hold oils and perfumes that ancient men and women used for their daily beautification, including the small glass bottle pictured to the right. To see the online exhibition of CUAM’s Roman glass vessels, click here.
The collection also consists of ancient Greek vases that represents the span of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Age, as well as ceramic figurines which may have been used as votive offerings to the Greek gods. The archaeological relics in this assemblage teach us about the everyday activities of eating, drinking, and worship that people practiced thousands of years ago. To see the online exhibition of CUAM’s Greek Vases, click here.
The collection also encompasses several examples of ancient Ban Chiang Southeast Asian pottery and Meso-American pottery and stone carving, as well as a 5th – 6th century CE Chinese Seated Buddha, carved of limestone.