Campus News

UGA professors to present research on color of relief

GMOA Orpheus Head-v.env
The Orpheus Relief sculpture originally was vibrantly painted.

Today’s museum visitors expect to find ancient Greek and Roman marble sculptures to be pure white. Many may be surprised to discover that they were originally vibrantly painted.

Currently at UGA, professors with expertise in art, history and chemistry are collaborating to uncover the color used in an ancient sculpture now on display at the Georgia Museum of Art.

The progress of that study will be discussed March 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the M. Smith Griffith Auditorium. Panelists include Mark Abbe, assistant professor of ancient art; Tina Salguero, assistant professor of chemistry; and Jeff Speakman, associate director of UGA’s Center for Applied Isotope Studies. The discussion will center around study of the Orpheus Relief sculpture that has been on loan to GMOA from the University of Mississippi Museum since September.

The research from this project can be tracked on a blog at