Assistant Curator (Greek, Etruscan, Roman & Byzantine)
Area: World Cultures, World Art & Culture, Ancient Cultures
Exhibitions & Galleries: Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium
B.A., History, Loyola College, Montreal, 1974
B.A., Art History, McGill University, Montreal, 1976
M.A., Art History, University of Toronto, 1978
Paul Denis has worked at the ROM in the Greek and Roman section since 1981. Originally interested in Greek sculpture, during the last 20 years he has broadened his scope to include most aspects of Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Byzantine art and culture. Generally, his work focuses on the associated research and preparation of objects for permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions; the acquisition of artifacts for the collections; and fundraising for galleries, exhibitions and acquisitions.
Paul has curatored such exhibitions as, Gift of the Gods: The Art of Wine Revelry (2001), and is currently the curator responsible for the Renaissance ROM galleries—the Eaton Gallery of Rome, the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Byzantium. These galleries highlight pieces from Canada’s most important collection of Greek, Ertuscan, Roman, Bronze Age European and Byzantine art. Collections of particular merit are: Greek vases, marble sculpture and terracotta figurines; Roman marble portraits; and Byzantine decorative arts and mosaics. After the completion of the new galleries, Paul will be focusing on Fakes, Frauds and Forgeries, an exhibition examining the art of fakery, from works of art to fossils, and from how BRE-X Gold salted their core samples to counterfeit Duracell batteries and Gucci watches.
Paul’s current research is on the depiction of a wedding scene preserved on a fragmentary red-figure lebes gamikos (wedding vase) in the ROM’s Diniacopoulous Collection. The vase dates to about 425 BC and is attributed to the Washing Painter, an Attic vase painter who specialized in nuptial scenes.
Like many other curators, Paul works closely with consulate and embassy staff, especially the Consulate Generals of Greece and Cyprus, on exhibitions and related cultural events.