Neils, Jenifer 1950-
NEILS, Jenifer 1950-
PERSONAL: Born October 16, 1950, in Minneapolis, MN; daughter of Henry Eugene Neils and Anne (Relf) Doerr; married James Harvey McInerney, Jr., September 3, 1977; children: James IV. Education: Bryn Mawr College, A.B., 1972; Princeton University, M.F.A., 1977; Sydney University, M.A., 1978; Princeton University, Ph.D., 1980.
CAREER: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, lecturer, 1979-80; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, assistant curator, 1980-86; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, assistant professor, 1866-92, associate professor and department chair, 1986-92; professor, 1992—, Ruth Coulter Professor of Art History, 1995—. Dartmouth College, Hood Museum, guest curator, 1990-93.
MEMBER: College Art Association, Archaeology Institute of America, American Numismatic Society, Midwest Art History Society, Society for the Preservation of Hellenic Studies, Cleveland Archaeology Society (president, trustee, 1984—), American Academy in Rome (president).
AWARDS, HONORS: Whitehead Fellow, American School of Classical Studies, 1989; Getty Fellow, American Academy, Rome, Italy.
(Editor with Gisela Walberg) Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum, Volume 2, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1971-2000.
(Editor) The World of Ceramics: Masterpieces from the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art/University of Indiana Press (Cleveland, OH), 1982.
The Youthful Deeds of Theseus, Bretschneider (Rome, Italy), 1987.
(Editor and contributor with E. J. W. Barber and others) Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Athens, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College/Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1992.
(Editor) Worshipping Athena: Panathenaia and Parthenon, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 1996.
SIDELIGHTS: Art historian Jenifer Neils specializes in archaeology and the art of ancient Greece. She was a Whitehead fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and a Getty fellow at the American Academy in Rome. In addition to her writing, she has curated exhibitions at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College and the Cleveland, Ohio, Museum of Art.
In The Youthful Deeds of Theseus, Neils studies the development of the iconography of hero Theseus's youth as it was depicted in ancient Greek vase-painting and sculpture. Toward the end of the sixth century B.C.E. there was a distinct change in the image of Theseus as it was depicted in art. He became a hero and statesman figure, leaving behind his old identity as Minotaur-slaying lover. Many scholars, Neils among them, attribute this change to the arrival of democracy in ancient Athens. Though American Journal of Archaeology contributor John H. Oakley found some of Neils's specific arguments less than entirely persuasive, he nevertheless considered her basic argument sound and judged the book "a very solid contribution."
Neils serves as editor and contributor to the volume Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, an expanded version of the catalog that accompanied an exhibition of seventy-one objects at the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College. Neils has written a brief piece describing the Panathenaia and its importance, in addition to her essay on Panathenaic amphorae. Other essays cover the development of Athena's iconography, and the competitions, athletic, poetic and musical that were part of the celebration. Katherine A. Schwab in Apollo hailed the book as a "splendid" work with "thoughtful and informative essays." A second volume on the Panathenaia festival, Worshipping Athena: Panathenaia and Parthenon, also elicited praise. Ian Jenkins wrote in the Times Literary Supplement that "No one has done more in recent years to enhance our knowledge of the Panathenaia than Jenifer Neils."
The Parthenon Frieze has been recognized as one of the finest books published to date on the frieze. "In its detail and its presentation," wrote John Boardman in the Times Literary Supplement, "it is as good as can be found." Bryn Mawr Classical Review contributor Mary Ann Eaverly expressed similar enthusiasm, deeming the book "persuasively argued" and "a joy to read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Journal of Archaeology, 1990, John H. Oakley, review of The Youthful Deeds of Theseus, p. 352; January, 1998, Judith Barringer, review of Worshipping Athena: Panathenaia and Parthenon, pp. 203-204.
Apollo, July, 1993, Katherine A. Schwab, review of Goddess and Polis: The Panthenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, pp. 58, 59.
Choice, May, 1993, R. Brilliant, review of Goddess and Polis, p. 1454; May, 2002, R. Brilliant, review of The Parthenon Frieze, p. 1577.
Classical Review, 1994, review of Goddess and Polis:The Panthenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, pp. 91, 92.
History: Review of New Books, winter, 1994, Athan Theoharis, review of Goddess and Polis, pp. 89, 91.
Religious Studies Review, October, 1997, Elise P. Garrison, review of Worshipping Athena, p. 402.
Times Literary Supplement, September 5, 1997, Ian Jenkins, review of Worshipping Athena, p. 11; April 19, 2002, John Boardman, review of The Parthenon Frieze, p. 12.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review,http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/ (June 14, 2002), Mary Ann Eaverly, review of The Parthenon Frieze.*