Frances Dodds Van Keuren— 1991 James R. Wiseman Book Award

Award Citation:

The sculptured metopes of the early temple of Hera in the Sanctuary at the Mouth of the Sele River were excavated when the mantle of malaria still hung over the Plain of Paestum. The metopes were prepared for presentation to the learned world by their discoverers Paola Zancani-Montuoro and Umberto Zanotti-Bianco when the sounds of war had barely faded from the Salerno beachhead. No cycle of architectural decoration in the Archaic Greek world is so complete. Yet the identification of the iconography of the Sele frieze and the reconstruction of the sequence of its metopes were not easily achieved. Still less clear at first was the full extent of the significance of the Sele metopes for programmatic narration in early Greek architectural decoration.

Today the Institute honors a study that illuminates the organizational principles of the Sele frieze, The Frieze from the Hera I Temple at Foce del Sele by Frances Dodds Van Keuren. The significance of this work reaches beyond the Sele temple to early Greek architectural sculpture as a whole, establishing the case for what was so long doubted: that early Archaic Greek architectural decoration was programmatic art.

The career of the scholar honored today has traversed the United States from north to south and from east to west. She has studied m the shadow of Lykabettos and has excavated where the tributaries of the Sele rise in the heartland of Lucania. The Archaeological Institute of America takes pride in her and in her work.

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