Elaine Gazda

Elaine Gazda


  • Email: gazda@umich.edu
  • Phone: 734.763.6111
  • Office: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 434 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1390
  • Ph.D. 1971, Harvard University

Research Interests


  • Ancient Roman art and archaeology


  • Italy

Research Projects

Research Description

Elaine Gazda's research centers on Roman art, especially art associated with the private realm. She works on issues of copying and emulation in Roman art and the uses made of Roman art by the Italian fascist government. She has published on Roman portraiture, ideal sculpture, late antique mythological sculpture, Pompeian wall painting and on a modern replica of paintings in the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. Her research extends to a variety of collections in the Kelsey Museum where she has curated numerous exhibitions. She also works on Roman concrete construction, especially that of the harbor of Cosa in Italy.

She is co-author of The Roman Port and Fishery at Cosa, a Center of Ancient Trade (1987), editor of Roman Art in the Private Sphere (1991/2nd ed. 2010), The Ancient Art of Emulation: Studies in Artistic Originality and Tradition from the Present to Classical Antiquity (a supplementary volume of Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, 2002), The Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii: Ancient Ritual, Modern Muse (2000), and Building a New Rome: the Imperial Colony of Pisidian Antioch (2011). She is author of numerous exhibition catalogues and articles on Roman sculpture, the art of Graeco-Roman Egypt, and Roman construction techniques.

Gazda's current research focuses on wall paintings, sculptures and other artworks from Roman domestic contexts. She is working on a book on art and life in Roman villas on the Bay of Naples and, in collaboration with the University of Texas' Oplontis Project, is preparing an exhibition entitled Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero: the Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii, scheduled to open in Ann Arbor 2016 and travel to three other venues.