Ancient and Medieval Lamps on Display at Hallie Ford Museum of Art

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University will present an exhibition of ancient and medieval lamps March 14 through May 17 in the Study Gallery.

Organized by Willamette Art History Professor Ann Nicgorski and Yale University Art Gallery curator Lisa Brody, From Hestia's Sacred Fire to Christ's Eternal Light will feature about 84 oil lamps from the Bogue Collection at the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University.

Brody will deliver a free lecture, "Illuminating Art: The Study of Ancient Lamps," March 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201) at the Willamette University College of Law. Her lecture is co-sponsored by the Salem Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. A full-color brochure on the Bogue Collection will also accompany the exhibition.

Oil lamps were essential objects of daily life in ancient and medieval times, and every household would have owned several to illuminate their interior spaces. Like other ceramics, the simplest oil lamps were plain and purely functional, while others contained ornamental and figural relief scenes, often taken from mythological or religious contexts.

The lamps in the exhibition will reflect a diversity of cultures and a wide variety of materials and techniques. The lamps, which range in date from 3,000 BCE to the Medieval/Arab periods, were acquired by Robert Bogue when he worked for the World Health Organization in Egypt. He gave them to the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State in 1962.

The exhibition is supported by grants from the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology at Willamette University, the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information call (503) 370-6855.