Dr. Katherine Schwab’s Caryatid hairstyling project continues to garner attention; in February, the project was featured in a full-page article in ARTnews magazine. Dr. Schwab, associate professor of art history in the College of Arts and Sciences, undertook the project in 2009 after getting a faculty research grant to determine whether the complex, twisted, and braided hairstyles on the Caryatids (statues of maidens) holding up a porch roof of the Erechtheion temple in Athens could actually be recreated, or whether they sprung from the sculptor’s imagination.
As Dr. Schwab said in the article, “The thick braids crowning the head form a visual transition to the element above, which in this case is an architectural capital supporting the roof. I thought, ‘How would a sculptor know how to carve that? This can’t be purely an invention of the artist.’”
Six art history students volunteered for the daylong sitting, as local hairstylist Milexy Torres managed to copy the unique style on each Caryatid. After their makeover into Greek maidens, the students posed for pictures in the original arrangement of the Caryatids in front of Bellarmine Hall, and the entire day’s work was documented in a DVD, a copy of which was sent to the Acropolis Museum.
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