Haas Scholars

Haley Mellin

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portraits: Looking into the Faces of the Past and Present

Current Bio: Haley is an artist and land conservationist who lives in Marin County. She completed a residency at the Whitney Museum in New York City, and then completed a PhD in Visual Culture and Education. She has exhibited her art in Europe and in the US, especially New York City and the Bay Area. In her land conservation work, Mellin conserves independently with a team of advisors. Mellin currently conserves one large-scale location per year into a new park. Focus is on tropical forests for carbon reasons, pristine wilderness and for biodiversity.
Haas Scholars Project: An Art Practice major, Haley will paint a series of portraits using the techniques and materials found in the Fayum mummy portraits of Ancient Egypt. These portraits, created during the first and second centuries CE for burial ritual purposes, are heralded for their technical and emotive mastery. Haley will conduct fieldwork in New York, London and Cambridge, England, researching the technical aspects of the portraits by viewing eighty of the most acclaimed paintings and consulting with some of the premier researchers in this field. Studying under Greek painter Eurphosyne Dioxidis, Haley will learn the hard tool, resin binding and encaustic painting techniques that have preserved the portraits over the last 2000 years. The project will culminate in a spring exhibition of her paintings at the Worth Ryder gallery on the UC Berkeley campus. She will also produce a digital compilation of a selection of Fayum portraits, together with their methods and recipes, for reference by other artists and art historians.

  • Major: Art Practice
  • Mentor: Professor Katherine Sherwood, Art Practice