Greek Vase Tour

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Krannert Art Museum (KAM) has a fine selection of ancient Greek Attic (Athenian-produced) vases dating from the middle Archaic period (ca. 580–535 BCE) to the early classical period (ca. 470 BCE). The museum's collection has examples of three main styles of vase painting. Black-figure vases have designs in black silhouette against the natural red clay background. Red-figure vases have the designs and figures left in the natural red color while the background is black. The black color is achieved through the use of a slip, which is a very fine clay that turns black when the vase is fired. White-ground is similar to black-figure in that the figures are also in black silhouette with the details incised. However the background is covered with a white slip rather than left naturally red. On later white-ground vases, figures and scenes are added in tempera colors that outlined the decoration and figures. This paint was applied after firing.

KAM's ancient Greek vase collection was established between 1970 and 1972 through a gift from Harlan E. and Theresa Moore. The Harlan E. and Teresa Moore Endowment was established in 1996 in order to support the Moore Gallery of European and Decorative Arts in KAM. This Greek Vase Tour highlights several works from this collection.


Acknowledgements: These vases were selected from Krannert Art Museum's Greek Vase Tour, which was originally put together in 1996, and was conceived, written, and formatted by Douglas A. Litts, then graduate student for the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It was initiated as a term project for Cheryl Knott Malone's "Information Organization and Access" class during the fall semester in 1996. This selected tour utilizes the original text but not the original format.