Old Wine in New Bottles: The Art of Alcohol across Antiquity

Spring 2023 Center Grant Recipient

Tyler Jo Smith (Art)

Throughout antiquity, alcohol belonged to private and public realms, devotional and everyday settings. It could be a marker of status, a sign of luxury, an indicator of reverence, pay for a hard day’s work, the complement to a good meal, or a remedy for poor health. But what do objects and images, materials and contexts tell us about ancient attitudes towards alcohol? In what settings were alcohol and depictions of it used? This project addresses these questions by gathering and comparing arts produced in areas of the world where the evidence is most abundant: the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.