Thorsten Opper

Greek and Roman sculpture
Ancient Greece

Department: Greece and Rome


+44 (0)20 7323 8564


Thorsten Opper works in the Roman section of the department, where his main responsibilities include the collection of ancient sculpture. He also looks after the Department’s substantial holdings of original works on paper (including drawings from the seventeenth century Museo Cartaceo by Cassiano dal Pozzo, important topographical views and architectural plans of sites in Italy, Greece and Asia Minor of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and the Townley drawings), as well as the historical archive (especially the Townley Archive) and the collection of plaster casts.

His special interests are in ancient portraiture, the Greek world in the Roman period, and the collecting and restoration of ancient sculpture in the eighteenth century.

Thorsten joined the British Museum in 2001 from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Current projects

Editing the proceedings of the international conference on Hadrian (December 2009) inspired by the 2008 exhibition, Hadrian. Empire and conflict.

Previous projects

Curator: Hadrian. Empire and conflict (July to October 2008)

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Cassiano dal Pozzo Catalogue Committee

Recent publications

T. Opper, Hadrian. Empire and conflict (London, British Museum Press, 2008).

T. Opper, The Emperor Hadrian (London, British Museum Press, 2008).

T. Opper, numerous entries for The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture (forthcoming, Summer 2007).

T. Opper, ‘Antinous’, The Burlington Magazine,168 (September 2006), pp. 645-6.

T. Opper, ‘Ein Fundkomplex von Terrakotten aus der Nekropole von Assos’, in: R. Stupperich (ed.), Ausgrabungen in Assos [= Asia Minor Studien vol. 57], (Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2006), pp. 131-80 pls. 20-1.

T. Opper, numerous entries for A. Boström (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Sculpture (New York/London 2004).

T. Opper, ‘Ancient glory and modern learning: the sculpture-decorated library’, in, K. Sloan (ed.), Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century (London, British Museum Press, 2003), pp. 58-67.