Mapping Mythology

Project Name: Mapping Mythology: A Digital Archive of Classical Mythology in Post-Antique Art (Manhattan Architectural Sculpture and Relief Field Survey)
Grantee: Jared Simard
Discipline: Classics
Funding Cycle: 2013-2014
Project Status: In progress

About The Project

1024px-Manhattan_New_York_City_2008_PD_93Mapping Mythology is a digital collection of classical mythology in art. Due to the well-recognized reception of the classical world in modernity, this project seeks to map mythological artwork onto the contemporary urban environment. This project will not only reveal hidden gems in city architecture and sculpture, but also seeks to connect the artwork to its given context in the larger history of classical reception in America. Furthermore, as large data sets are assembled, groupings of mythic art production in specific locations and time periods will be visualized for additional research. Funding from this grant will allow for continued expansion of the New York City pilot phase and complete an architectural sculpture and relief survey to be digitized and made available for research and classroom uses.

It is my intention, then, to bring classical mythology’s reception in art into the twenty-first century by creating a digital collection of instances of mythology in post-antique art. The added benefit of high resolution pictures, not just of paintings and sculptures, but architectural reliefs and more, coupled with the ability to search and visualize the artworks both in time and space (and in relation to one-another) will afford classicists and art historians with a new research database and tool to spur additional research.

Simard Image StillJared Simard is a PhD candidate in Classics.  His dissertation examines how Classicism in the United States shifted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries toward Gilded Age elite appropriation, especially in architecture. The example of John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s sole patronage of Rockefeller Plaza, and its robust use of classical and mythological iconography, points to an America that was still classically educated and would therefore respond to classical imagery in public spaces. Aside from working on his dissertation and digital projects, Jared is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College where he teaches Classical Mythology, The Greek and Latin Roots of English, Roman Civilization, and Beginning Latin 101 & 102.