Ancient World Gallery
The Department of Classical Studies' Ancient World Gallery was founded in 1979 by Professor Stuart Wheeler as a teaching collection within the department, with antiquities that had previously been displayed in the museum of Richmond College, before the move to the present campus in 1914. These antiquities included the mummy and coffin of Ti Ameny Net and other Egyptian items brought to Richmond by Dr. J.L.M. Curry in 1876.
Since its inception, the Ancient World Gallery has grown with donations from alumni and the estate of Dr. May Keller, the first Dean of Westhampton College. The addition of Aegean Bronze Age pottery replicas and other museum reproductions has been made possible through the generous benefaction of Mrs. Gertrude Howland, who attended Westhampton College and has supported the field of archaeology for a lifetime.
Although nearly at full capacity, the gallery continues to be a dynamic teaching space, as students research the history and significance of particular items in the collection and help its current curator, Dr. Elizabeth Baughan, inventory and catalogue the collection. While details of the mummy and coffin have long been accessible to the public on-line, very little information about the other ancient objects in the gallery exists in department archives. Dr. Baughan and her students share the same goal: to research the gallery's antiquities properly, in accordance with current standards of archaeological ethics, and publish their results online.
Plans are also underway to redesign the gallery space in order to enhance its educational value. Some of the current displays are arranged aesthetically, with Egyptian, Greek and Roman artifacts intermingled with each other and with modern reproductions. Future student projects will involve creating more educational displays and explanatory texts geared toward non-specialists and visitors of all ages, both from the UR campus and the greater Richmond community. In this way, the Department of Classical Studies hopes to have a positive effect on our community, by making ancient cultures accessible to modern students and by raising awareness of the importance of context in the appreciation of ancient objects.