Kleiner, Diana E.E. 1947- (Diana Elizabeth Edelman Kleiner)

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Kleiner, Diana E.E. 1947- (Diana Elizabeth Edelman Kleiner)


Born September 18, 1947, in New York, NY; daughter of Morton Henry (a physician) and Hilda Rachel Wyner Edelman; married Fred S. Kleiner (a professor), December 22, 1972; children: Alexander Mark. Education: Smith College, B.A., 1969; Columbia University, M.A., 1970, M.Phil., 1974, Ph.D., 1976.


Home—Woodbridge, CT. Office—Department of the History of Art, Yale University, 200 York St., New Haven, CT 06520; fax: 203-432-7462. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, art historian, educator, and administrator. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, lecturer, 1975-76, assistant professor of history of art, 1976-78; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Mellon faculty fellow, 1979-80; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor, 1980-82, associate professor, 1982-89, professor, 1989—, Dunham Professor of History of Art, 1995—, fellow of Whitney Humanities Center, 1984-87, master of Pierson College, 1986-87, department chair, 1994-95, deputy provost for the arts, 1995-2003, Alliance for Lifelong Learning (AllLearn), faculty programs liaison, 2001-06, Open Yale Courses, principal investigator, 2006—. University of Massachusetts, Boston, visiting assistant professor of classics, 1979. Member of board of directors, Westville Community Nursery School, 1989-90, Foote School, 1994-2000, and Deerfield Academy, 2004—. Curator of exhibition, I, Clavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, Yale University Art Gallery, San Antonia Museum of Art, and North Carolina Museum of Art, 1996-97.


Archaeological Institute of America, College Art Association of America.


Grants from American Council of Learned Societies, 1979, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1980, and American Philosophical Society, 1982; honorary M.A., Yale University, 1989; grant from J. Paul Getty Trust, 1992; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2006—.


Roman Group Portraiture, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1977.

The Monument of Philopappos in Athens, Giorgio Bretschneider (Rome, Italy), 1983.

Roman Imperial Funerary Altars with Portraits, Giorgio Bretschneider (Rome, Italy), 1987.

Roman Sculpture, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1992.

(Editor, with Susan B. Matheson) I, Clavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT), 1996.

(Editor, with Susan B. Matheson) I, Clavdia II: Women in Roman Art and Society, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2000.

Cleopatra and Rome, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals and academic journals.

Archaeological News, member of advisory board, 1980-2000; American Journal of Archaeology, member of advisory board, 1985-98.


Writer and educator Diana E.E. Kleiner is an art historian and an expert on Roman sculpture. She serves as the Dunham Professor of Classics and Art at Yale University. Kleiner is an influential author in the field of Classical and Roman sculpture and artwork. According to the Yale University Department of Classics Web site, Kleiner's Roman Sculpture "has become the fundamental reference on the sculpture of Rome for students, specialists, and the general public." She is also the editor, with Susan B. Matheson, of two volumes of conference papers on Roman women: I, Clavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, and I, Clavdia II: Women in Roman Art and Society.

In Cleopatra and Rome, Kleiner "presents Cleopatra's story as only an art historian could tell it," remarked Prudence Jones in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. "Beautifully illustrated and engagingly written, Cleopatra and Rome unveils Egypt's most famous queen through her portraits, monuments, and spectacles," Jones continued. "Cleopatra's relationships to Roman leaders and to Rome itself are seductively and intelligently examined in Diana E.E. Kleiner's beautifully illustrated book," remarked Helena Fraccia, writing in the Canadian Journal of History. Throughout the book, Kleiner assesses the historical Cleopatra's influence on the art, architecture, and even fashion and hairstyles of ancient Rome and Alexandria. She explores how the beautiful and politically wily Egyptian ruler was represented in a variety of artworks and images of the time and in later years. She also looks at the development and manifestation of intricate myths surrounding Cleopatra. In a book "based on solid research, Kleiner skillfully and convincingly weaves the ancient written sources together with the more substantial and less problematic archaeological and art historical record to support her thesis that Cleopatra was an inimitable person who changed the world," Fraccia observed. Kleiner's account "serves as a fascinating guide to Alexandria and Rome," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In the end, Fraccia stated, Kleiner "provides an innovative and fresh perspective on Cleopatra, both as a long-lived myth and as a world force."

Kleiner told CA: "I have always loved to write and probably inherited that interest from my parents who were both English majors; my Dad was also pre-med. It was, however, when I was an undergraduate at Smith College that writing and subject coalesced. I discovered Rome and decided it merited a lifetime of study. It was then that I knew that I wanted to combine scholarship with evocative prose with the goal of trying to make ancient civilization and its legacy come alive for readers. My aim is always to convey my enthusiasm and animate the material without sacrificing the quality of my research and argument. Above all, Rome and its monuments fuel my passion for writing. Their survival through nearly three millennia is alone a reason to marvel. Yet, I am fascinated that these monuments were not preserved as precious artifacts, but continued to be a part of daily life. From the Middle Ages through the Baroque period to contemporary Italy, they have remained integral components of the civilizations changing around them. That over time a Roman theater could be used as a fortress, then a palazzo, and later a condominium is a tribute to the comfort Italians have with their history and the legacy of Ancient Rome.

"I am always writing, and I like to write in whatever format is possible at the moment. Often it is just memos or e-mails, but it is best when it is lectures or books. Even when I am not writing, I am writing in my head, so that when I sit down at the computer, it simply flows. And when it does, I just write and write (in my opinion, writing is one of life's greatest highs), but then I go back over it again and again until I am sure I've nailed it!

"My major goal as a writer is to surprise readers that a subject they may never have given much thought to before—Rome and its art and architecture—is not only endlessly fascinating, but also relevant to their own lives. As I always say to my students, there is little in art that was not invented by the Romans. The achievements of this multi-cultural and global empire in the fields of law, government, literature, and art continue to resonate. I also hope that my books will encourage people to enhance their lives through engagement with art and architecture since experiencing it, especially in its original context, is one of life's greatest pleasures."



American Historical Review, February, 1994, review of Roman Sculpture, p. 208.

American Reference Books Annual, 1994, review of Roman Sculpture, p. 433.

Apollo, July, 1994, review of Roman Sculpture, p. 59.

Bookwatch, December, 1996, review of I, Clavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, p. 8.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review, November 18, 2001, Emily A. Hemlrijk, review of I, Clavdia II: Women in Roman Art and Society, p. 179; December 15, 2005, Prudence Jones, review of Cleopatra and Rome, p. 340.

Canadian Journal of History, March 22, 2006, Helena Fracchia, review of Cleopatra and Rome, p. 101.

Choice, March, 1997, review of I, Clavdia, p. 1216; May, 2001, review of I, Clavdia II, p. 1676.

Classical World, November, 1994, review of Roman Sculpture, p. 143.

Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2005, review of Cleopatra and Rome, p. 47.

Religious Studies Review, January, 1994, review of Roman Sculpture, p. 57.


Yale University Department of Classics Web site,http://www.yale.edu/classics/ (April 5, 2008), biography of Diana E.E. Kleiner.

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Kleiner, Diana E.E. 1947- (Diana Elizabeth Edelman Kleiner)

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