Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period.
The Romans usually treated their traditional narratives as historical, even when these have miraculous or supernatural elements. The stories are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism is an important theme. When the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual, augury, and institutions than with theology or cosmogony.
The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, and by the later artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors. The Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks (see interpretatio graeca), and reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends also have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks.
The Norton Museum of Art is an art museum located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Its collection includes over 5,000 works, with a concentration in European, American, and Chinese art as well as in contemporary art and photography.
The museum was founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton (1875–1953) and his first wife, Elizabeth Calhoun Norton (1881–1947).
Norton, the former head of the Chicago-based Acme Steel Co., moved to West Palm Beach upon retirement and decided to share his sizable collection of paintings and sculpture. The late Art Deco/Neoclassical building designed by Marion Sims Wyeth opened its doors to the public on February 8, 1941. Its mission statement is "to preserve for the future the beautiful things of the past."
The museum underwent a significant expansion when the 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) Gail and Melvin Nessel Wing was built and increased the size of the museum to 122,500 square feet (11,380 m2). Constructed over two years, it was opened to the public in 2003. The expansion created more space to display art in both the new and existing areas, increasing the Norton's gallery space by 75 percent, allowing more opportunities for the museum's permanent collection. The wing includes 14 new galleries, an enclosed courtyard to accommodate a variety of educational and social events, a glass ceiling installation commissioned from Dale Chihuly, a cantilevered spiral staircase, and three-story atrium designed to evoke the museum's art. The new wing was designed by Chad Floyd of the Connecticut-based Centerbrook Architects.