Friday, August 08, 2003

Fragments of Childhood: Growing Up in Ancient Greece

"The study of childhood in ancient Greece can illuminate both what is universal and what is specific about child rearing, what effects this might have had on Greek civilization,” writes Jenifer Neils, the Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University. Neils is cocurator of a new exhibition, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, with John Oakley, chair of classical studies at the College of William and Mary.

“No one tells the full story,” says Neils. “We wanted to look at depictions in art to see what they could tell about children.” The exhibition brings together vase paintings, terra-cotta, bronze sculpture, and stelae--marble grave memorials to individual children who died young--and examines depictions of children and their activities. Included are artifacts relating to children such as high chairs and baby bottles in the shape of animals.