Learning Resources

Downloadable lesson plans; tutorial on painting 3D models; glossary for specialty words used within the text panels on the site; links to resources to explore further.

Learning more about the casts

This page will contain lesson plans and classroom resources to help instructors incorporate the Battle Casts into their classes, model-painting instructions to help students engage with the casts, and links to learn more about current debates regarding polychromy and Classical reception.

Lesson plans

Coming soon! Lesson plans for classrooms and Blanton Museum visits

Background presentation for the casts (PDF)

Background presentation for the casts (PPT)

Coloring on the casts

Make your own polychrome sculpture!

The models we made are available for download from the 3D viewing pages. Use the "download" icon on each page to download a low-poly, untextured model you can manipulate easily in 3D viewing and editing software on most computers (we recommend the free, open-source Meshlab). You can also get access to higher-resolution models with textures by clicking on the "share" icon , but these are larger and might require more computer power. Once you've downloaded a model, you can use the "vertex painter" tool in Meshlab to add color directly to a model. It's worth thinking about how you look at these sculptures differently when they're brightly colored or wear modern clothes or tattoos. One of our team members has made a handy tutorial video that can help you get started creating your own polychrome sculptures using Meshlab. If you're very tech-savvy, you should also be able to make these models water-tight and create 3D prints, insert them into 3D scenes in Virtual Reality platforms like Unity, or even place them in your own space with a phone and an Augmented Reality app like AR Viewer.


Some further sources for polychromy and modern reception:

Sarah Bond, “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color,” Hyperallergic, June 7, 2017. https://hyperallergic.com/383776/why-we-need-to-start-seeing-the- classical-world-in-color/

Sarah Bond, “White at the Museum,” Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, April 3, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkwUCUwt3Rs

“Coloring the Past: An Interview with Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann,” Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, December 4, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjDccOpwGys

Vinzenz Brinkmann, Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World, DelMonico Books: 2017. See also the website of the Polychromy Research Project at http://www.stiftung-archaeologie.de/reconstructionsen.html and the companion website at the Liebieghaus Sculpture collection at https://www.liebieghaus.de/en/polychromy-research

"The white lie we've been told about Roman statues," Vox, 2019. https://youtu.be/4jmMWohs1XM

“Why Ancient Marble Statues aren’t Meant to be Seen as ‘White,’” HBO, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86PD8o6xe_4>

"Chroma" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, 2022. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma

Colleen Flaherty, "Threats for what she didn't say", Inside Higher Ed, June 19, 2017. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/06/19/classicist-finds-herself-target-online-threats-after-article-ancient-statues

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, "Ancient Color" exhibit, 2019. https://exhibitions.kelsey.lsa.umich.edu/ancient-color/index.php

Elizabeth Macaulay and Beth Harris, "In Full Color, Ancient Sculpture Reimagined," Smarthistory, November 18, 2022, https://smarthistory.org/in-full-color-ancient-sculpture-reimagined/

Jan Stubbe Østergaard, "polychromy, sculptural, Greek and Roman", Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.8118

Margaret Talbot, “The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture.” The New Yorker, October 22, 2018. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/29/the-myth-of-whiteness-in-classical-sculpture