CAMWS COMMITTEE FOR THE
PROMOTION OF LATIN
Description of 1998 CPL Award to John Gruber-Miller of Cornell College in Iowa
In February 1997 The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art opened a new exhibit to the public, The Tom
and Nan Riley Collection of Roman Portraiture. The collection, valued at more than $1,000,000,
contains twenty-one Roman portrait sculptures that date from the first century B.C. to the third
century A.D. "Rome on the Prairie: Conversations with Patricians and Plebeians" was a lecture
series to commemorate the first anniversary of the permanent installation of the Riley Collection
and to help Iowans understand the people behind the portraits.
The series consisted of three different lectures scheduled for the winter and spring of 1998 at the
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. The first lecture, "Status and Power: An Introduction to Roman
Sculpted Portraits" by Richard De Puma, introduced Iowans to the fascinating world of Roman
sculpted portraits. The second lecture, "Images of the Empire, Images of the Emperors" by Carin
Green, explored how the official portraits of Roman emperors embodied both their ideas about
leadership and their vision for the Roman empire. The third lecture, "Roman Women in Art and
Society" by Susan Matheson, introduced listeners to the lives of Roman women. The lecture
series was funded by generous grants from the Iowa Humanities Board, the Committee for the
Promotion of Latin, and AMICI, the Classical Association of Iowa.
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