The Walters Art Museum

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The Art of Ancient Hairdressing


Thursday, October 2, 2014


06:00 PM–07:00 PM

The Art of Ancient Hairdressing

See ancient sculpture in a whole new way through the eyes of hairdressing archaeologist Janet Stephens. A hair stylist by trade, Stephens' interest in researching ancient hairstyles began with a chance visit to the Walters.

From an interview with Janet Stephens for the History Blog:

"My research began with a visit to the Walters Art Museum in 2001. They had just finished renovating the Greek/Roman collections and displayed a number of portrait busts at eye level, out in the center of the room, like a cocktail party. I had never seen the back of a roman portrait before—they are usually placed high on shelves/pedestal with the backs tight up against a wall. As I circled the portraits I saw the logic of the hairstyles and determined to try some at home."

Find out how ancient Greeks and Romans created their elaborate and beautiful hairstyles without hairspray, bobby pins, or even shampoo!

Here's Janet Stephens recreating Julia Domna's hair (pictured above):