New programming celebrates upcoming landmark exhibition “The Painters of Pompeii”

Beginning in January, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will offer opportunities to experience Italy from the comfort of home in a series of new virtual classes. These expert-led conversations will explore topics ranging from southern Italian food and wine to daily life in Pompeii to ancient Roman deities and mythology. Armchair travelers can register for this special online programming beginning Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.


Virtual programming is inspired by the upcoming historic exhibition, “The Painters of Pompeii: Roman Frescoes from the National Archaeological Museum, Naples,” which will travel exclusively to Oklahoma City from Italy and be on view beginning June 26, 2021. Featuring works from one of the two large bodies of ancient painting in existence today, this exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


“The history, culture, food and wine of southern Italy is endlessly captivating,” said Dr. Rosie May, OKCMOA director of curatorial affairs and audience engagement. “From cooking your own arancini – a deep fried rice ball – to an in-depth look at Roman mythology to a virtual tour of Pompeii, our winter programming offers something for everyone.”


“‘The Painters of Pompeii’ is about more than frescoes and artifacts," she continued. “It is an immersion into the day-to-day life and stories of ancient Rome. We look forward to offering some of this immersion even before visitors walk through our doors next summer. From the comfort of home, you can participate in engaging virtual classes to expand your knowledge of southern Italy and enrich your visit to ‘The Painters of Pompeii.’”


The Museum has announced seven classes so far and promises more to come in 2021. “Destination Naples and Pompeii” is a three-part virtual series of classes lead by art historian Danielle Oteri and her partner, sommelier and Italian wine expert, Christian Gilliani. Registrants can sign up for individual classes or attend all three.


Additionally, through a partnership with Context Travel, a firm offering small-group immersive cultural and historical tours led by Ph.D. and M.A.-level scholars, OKCMOA will offer 90-minute, deep-dive adult classes as well as shorter, hour-long family-focused classes.


Adult Classes:

  • Destination Naples and Pompeii: Introduction to Naples, Wed., Jan. 13, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Destination Naples and Pompeii: Life in the Ancient Roman City of Pompeii, Wed., Jan. 20, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Destination Naples and Pompeii: The Food and Wine of Pompeii and Southern Italy, Wed., Jan. 27, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • The Archaeological Museum of Naples, Sun., Feb. 7, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Secrets of Sicilian Arancini Balls, Sun., Feb. 14, 1-2:30 p.m.


Family Classes:

  • Digging and Discoveries: Meet an Archaeologist, Sun., Jan. 10, 1-2 p.m.
  • Roman Deities and Mythology, Sun., Jan. 24, 1-2 p.m.


Classes range from $40 to $45 each with discounts for Museum members. Registration is limited and expected to fill quickly. The Museum encourages those interested to register soon at All class registrations include one complimentary ticket to “The Painters of Pompeii.”


“In addition to our exciting programming, I am thrilled to announce that ‘The Painters of Pompeii’ has been extended to Oct. 17, 2021,” said Dr. Michael J. Anderson, OKCMOA president and CEO. “This extension allows us to not only accommodate more visitors safely but to welcome more school groups as well. We plan to offer schools free virtual conversations in the galleries as well as on-site tours. Our goal is to allow as many Oklahomans as possible to experience this remarkable exhibition.”


“The Painters of Pompeii” highlights a seldom seen medium – the Roman wall painting – which was pervasive in Ancient Rome, through over 80 artifacts and artworks. The interiors of Roman buildings were sumptuously decorated with bold colors and designs that ranged from mythology to landscapes to gardens to architecture. The exhibition is organized by the National Archaeological Museum, Naples and MondoMostre.