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Relics of Ancient Egypt's Renaissance to Show at the Met This Fall

By Shaye Weaver | August 14, 2015 4:09pm | Updated on August 17, 2015 8:48am
 Relics from Egypt's Middle Kingdom will be on display starting in October at the Met.
Relics from Egypt's Middle Kingdom will be on display starting in October at the Met.
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Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung & Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

UPPER EAST SIDE — Jewelry, art and stone sculpture from ancient Egypt's renaissance will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning this fall.

The new exhibit, titled "Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom," will be the first comprehensive presentation of Middle Kingdom art and culture, and will feature many items that have never been shown in the U.S., according to museum officials.

Visitors will get to view 230 items from the Met's own collection and 37 from other museums and collections from North America and Europe.

Arranged chronologically and by theme, the exhibit will feature relics like a series of royal statues, including those of King Mentuhotep II; a detailed model of Senwosret III's pyramids from the west bank of the Nile River; fine Egyptian jewelry worn by elite women; and artifacts from homes, tombs and temples, including what were thought to be magical objects meant to protect pregnant women and children.

Dynasty 11 king Mentuhotep II reunited Egypt, following the collapse of the old kingdom and the segmentation of the civilization. The 400-year-span of reunification, or the Middle Kingdom, lasted 400 years and brought about a revival and reimaginging of Old Kingdom art, religion and political traditions, the museum stated.

"The works of art in the exhibition will show that ancient Egypt constantly evolved, and was remarkably flexible within a consistent framework," said Adela Oppenheim, Curator of Egyptian Art. "New ideas did not simply replace earlier notions; they were added to what had come before, creating a fascinating society of ever-increasing complexity."

The exhibit opens in the museum's Tisch Galleries on Oct. 12 and runs through January 24, 2016.