The "winged putti and amorini in a chariot race" on a newly-acquired panel from a 3rd century CE Roman sarcophagus, said Professor of Art Christine Havelock, are "mimicking a chariot race of adult males…pointing fun at an adult preoccupation." Havelock said, reported Brooke J. Kamin '84 in The Miscellany News, the art department, wanted "to go all out for something beautiful and something extraordinary.... Let's put up something smashing that the students will see...not a second rate painting or 'from the school of'.... It is just so beautiful and it's fairly complete. It's meaty—you can get at it."
Purchased from a London art dealer with funds from the Friends of the Art Gallery and a private donor, the piece, said gallery director William Hennessey, "an unusually valuable piece for us...one of the most major things we've gotten in years." The Miscellany News