The Riley Collection of Roman Portraits
In February 1997 The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art opened a new exhibit to the public, The Tom and Nan Riley Collection of Roman Portraiture. The Riley Collection, dating to the period when Rome was at its greatest prosperity--the first century B.C. to the third century A.D.--is especially good at introducing students and those interested in ancient Rome to the diversity of the Roman world. Ranging from patricians to plebeians, the collection includes not only emperors and senators, but also men, women, and children from all walks of life. Finally, the collection provides a unique opportunity for people to get to know Romans as individual human beings who were concerned about many of the same issues that we are: identity, status, leadership, and gender.
The Riley website is designed to be useful to students, grade six through university, their teachers, and anyone interested in the Roman empire. Each portrait includes a
In addition, many of the portraits also include a
The site also features Teaching Materials designed to help teachers come up with ideas for integrating the site into their own pre-existing courses. The materials were originally submitted by teachers in the Cedar Rapids area in partial fulfillment of a course, Integrating Local Resources into the Classroom, taught by John Gruber-Miller.
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
In addition to the Riley Collection, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art features the world's largest collections of works by Grant Wood, Marvin D. Cone, and Mauricio Lasansky. The museum also holds a strong collection of paintings and sculpture from the early twentieth century including many sculptures by Malvina Hoffman. The Museum also has strong collections of Regionalist art from the 1930s and 1940s, of twentieth century American prints, of work in all media by Iowa artists, and of contemporary midwestern painting and photography.
The site was first conceived and designed by Michael Arnush, John Gruber-Miller, Sue Olsen, and Jim Ruebel in 1997 at the first VRoma Summer Workshop at Rhodes College. Frames for the site were first designed by Mike Nielsen at Cornell College. Additional technical work and site implementation was provided by Chris Johanson while he was a student at Iowa State University.
Site maintainer is John Gruber-Miller, Professor of Classics at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. His research interests in Greek and Roman Comedy, language instruction, and technology frequently intersect with his teaching: he and his Latin students have regularly staged bi-lingual productions of Plautus and Terence; he has authored Scriba, Software to accompany the Oxford Latin Course, Part 1 (1994); he is a core faculty member of the VRoma Project, A Virtual Community for the Teaching of Classics; finally, he is the editor of When Dead Tongues Speak: Teaching Beginning Latin and Greek (forthcoming 2001), a volume that explores ways of teaching Latin and Greek using collaborative and communicative approaches.
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