Dartmouth Events

Libraries Exhibition - More than a Monster: Medusa Misunderstood

This exhibition highlights the other half of Medusa's story in Ovid's Metamorphoses: as a maiden, not a monster. It will be on display in Rauner Library 3/25 through 6/28.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024
9:00am – 5:45pm
Rauner Library in Webster Hall
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Exhibitions

You might know her from Caravaggio’s famous Medusa, the face of Versace, the book, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, or some other adaptation of the ancient myth.  Medusa is ubiquitous, appearing in Greek and Roman literature (from Hesiod’s Theogony to Ovid’s Metamorphoses) and in architecture, metalwork, vases, sculptures, and paintings throughout history.  Yet the most well-known portrayals of her all predictably converge upon one brief moment from her life’s story: her beheading and the use of her decapitated head by a man to petrify others.  Medusa then becomes an apotropaic symbol warding off evil, similar to the evil eye.  She is imagined more often as an object or a monster than as a human.  Even though Classical and Hellenistic depictions presented Medusa as more human than in the previous Archaic period, the popular conception of Medusa today still upholds her “otherness,” her monstrosity.  Modern-day artists have embraced Medusa as an emblem of female power, a beautiful monster, and used her story in the service of social movements; for example, Luciano Garbati’s Medusa with the Head of Perseus went viral in 2020 in connection with the #MeToo movement.  

This exhibition, "More than a Monster: Medusa Misunderstood", serves to highlight the other half of her story, as it appears in Ovid–Medusa as a maiden, not a monster–her overlooked and overshadowed past. The exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Hadley '23, the Edward Connery Lathem '51 Special Collections Fellow, and will be on display from March 25th, 2024, through June 28, 2024. For more information, visit the exhibition website: https://www.dartmouth.edu/library/rauner/exhibits/medusa-misunderstood.html.

For more information, contact:
Dartmouth Libraries

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.