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user-image: Portait of a woman_Egypt

Materials Lab Workshop: Making Faces

Join Harvard Art Museums visiting artist Francisco Benitez on Wednesday, Nov. 5 for a short overview of the long history of encaustic (pigmented wax) painting and demonstration of the technique. Then, participants will make a copy of a funerary portrait of a woman from the Harvard Art Museums' collections. Curator Susanne Ebbinghaus, one of the "Funerary Portraits" team members, will provide background on the portraits from Roman Egypt. Creating a version of the ancient image is a means to better appreciating the process and the painter’s skill. The workshop also aims to honor and remember the ancient subject of the portrait and to celebrate the relationship between artist and sitter that allowed her essence to be captured so powerfully. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Harvard Art Museums and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

This workshop accompanies the exhibition "Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt: Facing Forward," which invites viewers to ask more about the complicated histories of these portraits and the people they depict. It also explores what can be learned about the artistic processes and current condition of these works through scientific analysis and technical research conducted by staff in the Harvard Art Museums’ Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies. "Funerary Portraits" is on view at the Harvard Art Museums through December 30. Please be advised that this exhibition contains objects that were removed from ancient Egyptian burials.

No prior experience is necessary, but participants must be a minimum age of 18 to comply with the Harvard Minors in Labs policy. Registration is required and will open on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at this link. Participants will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the materials fee is $15. To join the waitlist, please email

This workshop will take place in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences' Active Learning Labs at 150 Western Avenue. Buses 501, 57 and 66 serve that area. There is on-street parking on both sides of Western Avenue. Alternatively, the lot at 2 Hague Street has meters for four hours and full-day passes can be purchased for $6 through the Harvard Online Parking Permit System [HOPPS].


150 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134, USA

Date & Time

  • Sat Nov 5, 2022

    • 5:00pm - 8:00pm


  • Class
  • Visual Art
  • Historical