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Documenting Persepolis and the Paintings of Joseph Lindon Smith

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OI Museum Special Exhibition Opening Lecture, "Documenting Persepolis and the Paintings of Joseph Lindon Smith," with Kiersten Neumann

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This lecture celebrates the opening of the OI Museum Special Exhibition, Joseph Lindon Smith: The Persepolis Paintings, curated by Kiersten Neumann and on display January 27–August 28, 2022: https://oi100.uchicago.edu/jls.

From 1931–39 the OI Iranian (Persian) expedition carried out the first scientifically controlled archaeological excavations at Persepolis, the great Achaemenid city founded by Darius I (533–486 BC) and sacked by Alexander III of Macedon in 330 BC. OI founder and then director James Henry Breasted’s invitation to Joseph Lindon Smith (1863–1950) to visit and paint the ruins of Persepolis was indicative of the innovative documentary efforts that defined the OI’s fieldwork, which at the time also included still photography and film, both on the ground and aerial. Smith, an American artist renowned for his faithful renderings of archaeological subjects, created with stark realism portraits of the Apadana reliefs and in vibrant polychrome vast landscape scenes of the monumental terrace—on display in the OI Museum’s special exhibition, “Joseph Lindon Smith: The Persepolis Paintings.” Yet the expeditions’ photographs and Smith’s paintings belong to a long history of recording this city’s ruins. Join Kiersten Neumann, OIM curator, in an exploration of Smith’s Persepolis paintings and the artistic corpus to which they belong.

*** Registration is required to take part in this live Zoom event; a Zoom link will be emailed to registrants one hour before the event start time. In the days following the event, a recording of the lecture will be publicly available on the OI's YouTube page and the link emailed to all registrants. If you’re unable to attend live and would like to receive the YouTube link, we also welcome you to register.

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