Wednesday 5 January 2022

Barbarano Romano: the Attic fragments

Source: San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art will be returning 192 fragments of Attic black-figured, red-figured and black-glossed cups to Italy. They are reported to have been found at Barbarano Romano to the south of Viterbo and were sold to Gilbert M. Denman, Jr. by Edoardo Almagià in 1985; Denman gave the fragments to the museum the following year (inv. 86.134.196). 

The Steinhardt legal papers cite two pieces of correspondence about pottery fragments from Barbarano Romano: the recipient is clearly in Texas. Almagià states the findspot and explained how the fragments were removed to Switzerland, and then moved to New York where they were cleaned and grouped with the help of a vasologist. Further fragments from the site were then noted, though they remained in Italy. 

It is unclear if the San Antonio fragments and the Texas letters are linked. But this does raise issues about other pot fragments that were handled by Almagià and those associated with him. 

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