I’m delighted to have landed at the Museum of Art as the 2018–2020 Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow. I arrived at the beginning of June and have spent the past few months exploring the collection and enjoying my first summer in Maine. I’ve been thrilled to discover the truly global reach of our collections and impressed with our exhibitions and programming.
As the curatorial fellow, I’m excited to work closely with Bowdoin faculty to support teaching and research with the Museum’s rich collections. As an art historian with a deeply interdisciplinary background (archaeology, anthropology, history of religion), I’m looking forward to continuing our ongoing efforts to encourage new and diverse perspectives at the Museum.
One new tool that we are debuting this fall is a new imaging technique, RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging), which creates a dynamically relightable image that we can use to study the surface shape and texture of an object. RTI imaging is useful for analyzing the techniques, materials, and condition of works of art—from seventeenth-century etchings to ancient Greek vases—and can be used to answer a wide range of questions from different disciplines.
My own research is on visual cultures across the ancient Mediterranean world, and the ways that experiences of immigration and diaspora have historically shaped visual cultures. I received my Ph.D. from Duke University in 2017 and have since held fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Department of Greek and Roman Art) and the University of Michigan (Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies).
As the fall semester gets in swing, I look forward to welcoming new and returning faculty to the Museum. If you are a faculty member interested in working with our collections, I invite you to reach out and arrange a visit any time to chat about possible intersections.
Sean P. Burrus
Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow
Bowdoin College Museum of Art