Cup winner

January 14th, 2011

A new exhibition, Roman Sexuality: Images, Myths and Meanings, has opened at the University’s Weston Gallery to run until April.

The exhibition brings together a variety of sexual images from Roman art and archaeology and investigates what they meant to those who made and used them.

The exhibition is co-curated by Clare Pickersgill, University of Nottingham Museum, and Dr Paul Roberts, Department of Greece and Rome, British Museum, in collaboration with Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham.

It starts by looking at how Victorian attitudes have affected the way we have collected, displayed and studied such objects including the exhibition’s centrepiece, The Warren Cup. This silver cup — as featured in the popular British Museum and BBC Radio 4 series, A History of the World in 100 Objects — is one of the highlights of the British Museum and is central to a wider discussion on sex and sexuality in the Roman world.

The exhibition looks at concepts of sacred and profane love, and the gods, goddesses and myths. Objects to modern eyes may appear to be sexual but to the Romans they weren’t, they were filled with meanings such as fertility, superstition and humour. It contains objects from the collections of the British Museum and University of Nottingham alongside pieces from Nottingham City Museums and Galleries and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. It runs until Sunday 10 April, admission is free.

A series of free tours and talks will accompany the exhibition.

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