The reunification of ancient Egypt achieved by Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II—the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom—was followed by a great cultural flowering that lasted nearly four hundred years. During the Middle Kingdom (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, around 2030–1650 B.C.), artistic, cultural, religious, and political traditions first conceived and instituted during the Old Kingdom were revived and reimagined.
This transformational era is represented through 230 objects and groups in this major international exhibition. Fashioned with great subtlety and sensitivity, and ranging in size from monumental stone sculptures to delicate examples of jewelry, the works of art are drawn from the preeminent collection of the Metropolitan—which is particularly rich in Middle Kingdom material—and thirty-seven lenders in North America and Europe. This is the first comprehensive presentation of Middle Kingdom art and culture, featuring many objects that have never before been shown in the United States.
The exhibition is made possible by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman.
Additional support is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Diane Carol Brandt, and The Daniel P. Davison Fund.
It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.