Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Gregory Stevens, M.A.T.

Committee Member

Renee Robinson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D.

Committee Member

McKenna Schray, Ph.D.


polychromy, classical antiquity, sculpture, collections stewardship, preservation, object care


Over the past centuries, scholars have worked to understand that the remaining pristine white marble of ancient Greece and Rome was once brightly colored. Through archeology, classical studies, art history, and conservation science research, several discoveries have been uncovered regarding polychromy and classical antiquity sculptures. In a parallel research track, museum professionals refine their understanding of collections stewardship, making preservation policies and procedures beneficial for various object types. Collections stewardship practices and polychromy research must converge to care for the remaining color on these classical antiquity sculptures. This research project works to connect the fields of polychromy research and collections stewardship through a qualitative, collective case study of four freestanding sculptures found in a museum collection from a different artistic movement in classical antiquity. The cases were analyzed through a textual content analysis that examined museum records, polychromy research reports, and related documents searching for an evolutionary pattern. Findings demonstrated this evolutionary pattern for how the sculptures were researched for their color and preserved. Recommendations for how to care for colored classical antiquity sculptures are discussed in the conclusion, focusing on continuing research efforts for polychromy and collections stewardship.