MSU program next week spotlights ‘Nike’ restoration, preservation

Bonna Daix Wescoat (Submitted photo)

Contact: Karyn Brown

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An internationally recognized art researcher and teacher from Georgia brings her vast knowledge of ancient Greece to Mississippi State next week.

Bonna Daix Wescoat, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History at Atlanta’s Emory University, will be on the Starkville campus April 6. Free to all, her 4 p.m. Thursday presentation takes place in Salon U of the Colvard Student Union’s second-floor Bill R. Foster Ballroom.

Titled “From the Vantage of Victory: New Research on the ‘Nike of Samothrace,’” the program will explain the discovery and multi-stage restorations of a second century B.C. marble sculpture of the Greek goddess whose name means victory.

Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014, Wescoat led efforts by a team from Emory and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts to improve, as much as possible, the appearance of the eight-foot-tall figure also known as the “Winged Figure of Victory.”

Since the late 1800s, the sculpture has been in the care of France’s Louvre Museum. For more, see

Event co-sponsors include MSU’s Institute for the Humanities and its Distinguished Lecture Series, as well as the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Cobb Institute of Archaeology.

“In a very real way, her research has brought these works of art back to life, and her research continues to do that for students through lectures like this one,” said Angi Bourgeois, art department head and a former graduate student of Wescoat.

Michael Galaty, Cobb Institute director, called Wescoat “a first-class art scholar who also is an excellent field archaeologist.”

Galaty, who also heads the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, said he and his colleagues “are looking forward to hearing about restoration of the Nike, but also about its origin and context of discovery on the island of Samothrace.”

In researching ancient Greek art and architecture, Wescoat has devoted a special emphasis to the Archaic and Hellenistic periods. She is the author of “The Temple of Athena at Assos,” “Architecture of the Sacred: Space, Ritual, and Experience from Classical Greece to Byzantium,” and “Syracuse, the Fairest Greek City.” Additional biographical information is found at

William Anthony Hay, Institute for the Humanities director, said Wescoat’s distinguished career is a prime example of how the spirit of human inquiry forms the core of humanistic study. “Restoring a lost artwork, as we will hear, opened the way to studying beauty and form,” he added.

For more about Wescoat’s visit, contact Hay at, or Karyn Brown, College of Arts and Sciences communication director, at 662-325-7952 or

Information about MSU’s Institute for the Humanities is found at; Cobb Institute of Archaeology,; and Department of Art,

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at