Hypothesizing the Reliefs' Origins: A close examination of the reliefs that seeks to hypothesize how the reliefs were created, how they might have been displayed, and where they may have come from.
Iconography: This section presents possible identifications and meanings of motifs represented in the reliefs, and how this information fits into the broader late antique period.
Late Antique Egyptian Sculpture: This section provides a brief summary of the Late Antique Egyptian sculpture, including sites, materials/methods, iconography, and basic history.
The Changing Faces of the Egyptian Antiquities Market: A brief summary of the history of collecting antiquities in Egypt, including an overview of the international regulations that were enacted a mere ten years after Herbert Mayer purchased his Late Antique reliefs in Cairo.
Timeline: A timeline tracing the life of Herbert Mayer '29, with an emphasis on his time in Egypt and his purchase and exhibition of the twenty Late Antique reliefs that he donated to the Picker Art Gallery Collection.
Sculptura: Herbert Mayer '29 and former Art History Professor Alfred Krakusin partnered in a business venture in the late 1950s and early 1960s called Sculptura, Inc. that reproduced ancient artworks in bronze, including reproductions of Egyptian pharaonic bas relief panels.
Chemistry: This topic explores the possible methods of testing our reliefs and the issue of destructive sampling vs. the value of our reliefs.
Forgeries: This topic covers the subject of forgeries and how they relate to our reliefs. The problem of fake works in ancient art is discussed, as well as methods of authentication and how we have applied these to our reliefs. Additionally, two leading scholars in the field of Late Antique Egyptian art give their opinions on the authenticity of our reliefs.
Textiles: The Mayer Collection also includes seven Late Antique textile fragments. This research topic was explored from two angles; the first gives a general overview of Late Antique Egyptian textiles and looks at the Mayer collection in relation to comparanda in other museum collections, the second examines the silk trade in Late Antique Egypt to learn more about the silk textile in the Mayer collection.
Connoisseurship: This topic is split into two essays; the first accounts the history of and controversial debate over connoisseurship in academia and the art market and the second explains how we can use connoisseurship in relation to our reliefs.
Display in the Picker Gallery: This topic discusses the problems associated with displaying the reliefs, using other museums as comparisons. It also includes a proposal for a potential exhibit centered around Herbert Mayer's bequest and the value of student research.