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Five Years of Collecting Egyptian Art

DATES December 11, 1956 through March 17, 1957
  • December 10, 1956 “EGYPTIAN ART - Five Years of Collecting,” a special exhibition of some 130 pieces acquired by the Egyptian department during the past five years, will open to the public on Tuesday, December 11. The show will be on view in the special exhibition galleries of the museum through March 17.

    Spanning 3500 years - from the dynasties of the Old Kingdom to the Early Christian period - the show will emphasize the fine quality and rarity of the museum’s recent Egyptian accessions, uncovered by the vigilance of the museum’s Curator of Egyptian Art, John D. Cooney in a notoriously lean market as well as a great diversity of material, the goal of establishing a rounded collection.

    A number of the objects have been exhibited previously in the Egyptian galleries, the majority of them have not been displayed. A few pieces of exceptional beauty, workmanship and rarity, each deserving of a distinguished place in any great collection of Egyptian antiquities, to be included in the exhibition are: A majestic stone queen’s head of the XIIth dynasty (about 1900 B.C.), a rarity of a period from which little survived; a seated figure of the great Middle Kingdom ruler Sesostris III, the museum's piece the only portrait of this ruler to survive undamaged. An equally remarkable show piece of the collection is the portrait in wood of Methethy, a royal official of the late Fifth dynasty (about 2420 B.C.). Unlike the conventionalized styling of portraits of this period, the portrait of Methethy was given individual treatment.

    The organizing of the exhibition has been under the direction of Mr. Cooney and his assistant, Bernard Bothmer.

    An informative and illustrated catalogue entitled, “Five Years Of Collecting Egyptian Art, 1951 - 1956” has been prepared for the exhibition.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1956, 031-2.
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