Friday, May 05, 2006

Jane Biers Retires from Missouri University

Former Adjunct Professor and Director, Museum of Art and Archaeology
Roman Archaeology, Curator of Ancient Art
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

"Archaeology has taken Jane Biers many places in her life; from the forgotten Roman outposts of England, where she witnessed her first excavations, to the sprawl of Athens, where she met her husband, to the fledgling young museum of an American university town, where she carved out her place in the world.

When she stepped down as interim director of MU?s Museum of Art and Archaeology last month, Biers was retiring for the second time from a university career that spanned more than 3½ decades.

It was language that first drew Biers, 67, down the winding career path that would lead her to Columbia ? not the romance of digging up ancient treasures, nor the adventurous crack of a bullwhip. In the late 1950s, she was growing up in Oxford, England, where Latin was a required part of high school-level curriculum.

"It wasn't that I always wanted to be an archaeologist," Biers said. "It's just I sort of progressed from Latin to learning (ancient) Greek to learning ancient history."

She was in the right place at the right time: a town home to one of the oldest and most reputable universities for the study of classical literature, philosophy and history ? or ?Greats.? Biers attended Oxford University for her undergraduate degree. At Oxford, she was granted the opportunity to work at important new dig sites: St. Albans, once home to the Roman city of Verulamium, and Fishbourne, a first-century villa likely inhabited by the local Roman puppet king."


As an archaeologist, Jane Biers? research interests have been focused on Roman Baths. Her most recent publication on the subject can be found in Corinth, the Centenary, 1896-1996, Corinth v. 20. As curator of ancient art at the Museum of Art and Archaeology from 1974-2000, she has, however, been involved in a number of other research projects. Her most recent publications are Testament of Time: Selected Objects from the Collection of Palestinian Antiquities in the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia (2004), which she edited with James Terry. She was also the editor of A Peaceable Kingdom: Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection, Part VI (2004).

mailing address:
Museum of Art and Archaeology
1 Pickard Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-1420

phone: 573-882-5075
fax: 573-884-4039