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VIRTUAL - Gendered Ads in Antiquity: Targeted Advertising for Women in Athenian Vase Painting

October 26, 2021 @ 7:30 pm PDT Pacific Time

This is an online event.

AIA Society: Vancouver

Lecturer: Danielle Smotherman Bennett

During the late Archaic and Classical periods, Athens was a metropolis seeking to expand its hegemonic control over the Greek world and was in constant conflict with others. This tumultuous history and the political activity of Athens is intensely tangled with changes in the marketing of Athenian figure-painted pottery. During the fifth century BCE, women are increasingly prominent in Athenian vase painting and the types of scenes in which they appear expands. This talk proposes that these changes may denote an expanded marketability of vases to female viewers as a greater share of the market was influenced by women, either directly or indirectly, and successful artists carefully crafted targeted advertisements on their wares to attract that group. As targeted imagery, the vase paintings give perceptible recognition to the increased valuation of women’s work and lives at a time when their roles in Athenian society were essential for the continued success of the city-state.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Bennett, Danielle Smotherman. 2019. “Targeted Advertising for Women in Athenian Vase-Painting of the Fifth Century BCE” Arts, Vol. 8, Issue 2, Article 52. Special Issue: Ancient Mediterranean Painting (Vol. 1), edited by Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell and Annette Giesecke.

Blundell, Sue. 1995. Women in Ancient Greece. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Harris, Edward M., David Lewis, and Mark Woolmer, eds. 2016. The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households, and City-States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lynch, Kathleen. 2017. Reception, Intention, and Attic Vases. In Theoretical Approaches to the Archaeology of Ancient Greece: Manipulating Material Culture. Edited by Lisa Nevett. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 124–42.

Osborne, Robin. 2018. The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece. Martin Classical Lectures. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Scranton Lecture


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October 26, 2021
7:30 pm PDT
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Kevin Fisher


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