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Roman, Mosaic with Birds and Flowers, 2nd century AD, stone, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase with funds provided in honor of Peter C. Marzio at "One Great Night in November."

Sunday Salon “How the Emperor Nero Still Influences Art Today”

Sunday, Oct 13, 2013
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Beck Building, Mezzanine
5601 Main Street Map & Directions

Presented by Tacey Rosolowski, PhD, independent scholar, essayist, oral history interviewer

During the 16th century, when realistic representation was the norm, artists were thrilled when an accidental discovery revealed the fantastical frescoes that the Emperor Nero had commissioned in the 1st century to decorate his pleasure palace. Curlicues morphed into animals. Sections of buildings blended with flowers and human beings. Artists began to let their own imaginations run wild, creating “things which never are, nor can be, nor have been” (in the words of ancient critic Vitruvius). Today we expect artists to color outside the box.

In this illustrated talk, Tacey Rosolowski explores how to recognize influences from Nero and the Renaissance in contemporary advertising, fantasy film, graphic novels, and products. Following the presentation, a facilitated discussion focuses on what fantasy figures say about the artistic imagination, and what such images mean in today's culture. Questions about the program’s content? E-mail

$25 for MFAH Members
$35 + general admission for nonmembers
Secure your seat in advance! Click the "Get Tickets" button and use your own printer; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

About Sunday Salons
Each Sunday Salon at the Museum transports Gertrude Stein’s famed salon at 27 rue de Fleurus to Houston, bringing together—in Stein’s words—“confluences of talent and thinking.” A notable scholar begins with a short lecture to stir the imagination and memories, then transitions to a facilitated discussion during which participants are encouraged to muse aloud and share ideas.

Sunday Salons are accompanied by an assortment of teas and herbal infusions, with seated table service of pre-plated savory and sweet bites.

Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; Michael C. Linn in memory of his mother Patricia G. Linn; the National Museum of Korea; Mrs. Evelyn Houstoun Chew; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; The Boeing Company; An Anonymous Donor; Mr. William J. Hill; Cameron International Corporation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.