United Kingdom-born art historian Ruth Allen has been appointed curator of Greek and Roman art for the Michael C. Carlos Museum, according to a Nov. 26 University press release. Allen most recently served as a visiting academic at the Institute of Classical Studies in London.
“The collection of Greek and Roman art here at the Carlos Museum is a collection that I have been familiar with throughout my academic and professional career,” Allen said.
Allen said she was drawn to the Carlos because it is located on a university campus and would allow her to explore her passion for teaching in addition to curating exhibits.
“Teaching in the classroom … is something that I’ve enjoyed for a long time,” Allen said. “I’ve taught at university; I’ve taught at high school in the UK. I really like being able to go between both worlds.”
The Carlos Museum began searching for a curator of Greek and Roman art in August 2018 and hired Allen in April 2019. The call for applications stated that, in addition to curating exhibits, the curator reports to the director of the Carlos Museum, serves on a team of collectors, educators and administrative staff, and leads collaborations across departments.
Allen received a Bachelor of Arts in classics and a doctorate in art history from the University of Cambridge as well as a Master of Arts in art history from the The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Previously, she worked in the Antiquities Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the British Museum in London. Prior to working at the Institute of Classic Studies, she served as an undergraduate supervisor for the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge and a department administrator for the Department of Antiquities at Christie’s, an auction house in London.
On Dec. 3, Allen hosted an event at the Carlos called AnitquiTEA where she discussed the continued relevance of the classical story of Orpheus in the modern world.
“I’m also really interested in how best we can make what can seem like a distant and esoteric thing such as Greek and Roman art and we can demonstrate its continued resonance and relevance,” Allen said.
In February, Allen will be hosting a gallery tour exploring Greek and Roman “objects that are perhaps not what we would think of as the classical ideal, bodies that are maybe ugly or doing things that don’t fall into that bracket of … grace.” She also plans to host a workshop for Latin teachers in the greater Atlanta area.