Smith College, Northampton MA

Smith College Museum of Art Exhibition: Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero


Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis Near Pompeii

Exhibition dates:  February 3–August 17, 2017

Featuring works seen for the first time outside Italy, this groundbreaking exhibition centers on the ancient town of Oplontis on the Neapolitan coast, a site that was buried and preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. The exhibition focuses on two adjacent, spectacular Roman archaeological sites—one an enormous luxury villa (“Villa A”) that once sprawled along the coast of the Bay of Naples, the other a nearby commercial-residential complex (“Villa B”), where products from the region were exported.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by The University of Michigan Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in cooperation with the Ministero dei Beni delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia.

Admission to the museum: $5 Adults $4 Seniors (65+) FREE: College students, Five College employees & families, Youth (18 and under), SCMA members.


Plants of Pompeii: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants

Come and discover a unique exhibition featuring plants used by ancient and modern Pompeiians to treat ailments such as the common cold and headaches. Captured in exquisite illustrations created by the meticulous botanical artists Victoria I and Lillian Nicholson Meyer, 35 hand-drawn plants will be displayed along with a model of a house and garden in Ancient Pompeii, and much information about how the plants were used. Plants of Pompeii: Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants encompasses history, discovery, tradition, and appreciation for plants and how we use them.

After the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii, a city famous for its gardens and flower culture, lay in ruins. Reconstructions of Pompeiian architecture and findings of plant remains revealed gardens to be a part of the daily lives of Pompeiians.

This exhibit brings to life the horticultural and botanical history that was once depicted in frescos in the ancient city. Learn how archeologists and, in particular, Wilhelmina Jashemski, professor of ancient history and pioneer of the field of garden archeology, used scientific and artistic evidence to identify which plants were actually growing there almost 2000 years ago. The exhibit is based on Jashemski’s book A Pompeian, which featured the illustrations in this exhibition.

Ancient and Modern Medicinal Plants will be on display at the Church Exhibition gallery from April 1 through December 15, 2017. The Church Exhibition Gallery at the Botanic Garden of Smith College is open daily 8:30 am-4:00 pm. Entrance is by donation. The Botanic Garden is wheelchair accessible. 

Smith College

122 Green St., Northampton MA



Smith College Museum of Art

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM-4 PM; Sundays 12-4 PM; Closed Mondays.

Elm Street at Bedford Terrace, Northampton MA

The Museum includes four floors of exhibition galleries that house the permanent collection; the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; and changing exhibitions that regularly include a family-friendly resource area. Featured amenities include the Museum Shop, artist-designed restrooms, and hand-crafted gallery benches.


There is no parking area specifically for the Museum. Smith College Campus Map

Free Parking

  • Weekdays before 5pm
    • Blue visitor spaces in the Smith College parking garage are available (limited number). The Parking Garage is located on West Street, next to Garrison Hall.
    • Visitors may park on city streets further from the Museum.
  • Weekends and evenings
    • Guests to the Museum may park in any white-lined space in Smith College parking lots. The closest College parking lots are located off Bedford Terrace.
    • On Sundays, metered spots on city streets are also free.

Paid Parking

  • Metered spots on Elm Street are the closest parking option, and cars can park there for up to 10 hours at 50 cents per hour. Parking meters are enforced from 8am to 6pm Monday–Saturday.
  • The Northampton parking garage is located behind Thorne’s Marketplace downtown.

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