Eugenie Sellers Strong - First Female Student & Art Historian & Archaeologist

Eugenie Sellers Strong (1860 – 1943) was a British archaeologist and art historian. She was the first female student admitted to the British School at Athens in 1890. Sellers Strong studied classics at Girton College, Cambridge and although she matriculated, Cambridge did not then award degrees to women. The University of St Andrews awarded her an honorary degree after the publication of her first book, an English translation of the excavations at Troy by Carl Schuchhardt.

Throughout her life, Sellers Strong continued to research and publish, mainly on ancient art and she wrote two chapters for the Cambridge Ancient History (“The Art of the Roman Republic” and "The Art of the Augustan Age”). She became a life Research Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge in 1910 and Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1927. Sellers Strong was Assistant Director of the British School at Rome from 1909-1925. She continued to live in Rome until her death in 1943.

Artist’s Note: Basing my LEGO portrait on the photo of Sellers in the BSA archive, I could quite quickly see two things about her: a great mental fortitude and a discernible sense of ironic wit. Therefore, I tried to portray that complex emotional mix in her LEGO head. With the outfit, I had to use a lot of artistic license as the BSA archive photo is a headshot and therefore I could only see the very top of her outfit. This outfit design is based on my research into late Victorian and early Edwardian female clothing and is an amalgamation of various costume elements from the time (when I was in my teens I wanted to be a set and costume designer so this is where my early love of costume design came flooding back).