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Cleopatra's Needle

The exhibition is made possible by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman.

Exhibition objects

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Sunday at the Met: Cleopatra's Needle

Program information

Explore the meaning of obelisks in ancient Egypt and discover how a longstanding fascination with this ancient architectural form led to the erection of "Cleopatra's Needle" in Central Park.

Welcome and Introduction:
Diana Craig Patch, Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge, Department of Egyptian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Recorded March 30, 2014

Cleopatra's Needle

December 3, 2013–June 8, 2014

Read a related blog post on Now at the Met.

This exhibition celebrates the Central Park Conservancy's upcoming conservation on the obelisk of Thutmose III, popularly known as "Cleopatra's Needle." Relying primarily on the Metropolitan's own collection, enhanced with several important loans from local museums and private lenders, it explores the meaning of obelisks in ancient Egyptian divine and funerary cults and considers how these massive monuments were created and erected. An equally important part of the presentation shows the significance of this ancient architectural form in western culture and how a longstanding fascination with obelisks ultimately led to the erection of the one in Central Park. This portion of the exhibition is illustrated through a selection of paintings, prints, textiles, and other objects from the departments of European Paintings, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Drawings and Prints, and the American Wing.