Join and Give/ Support The Met/ The Met's Friends Groups/ Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art and The Ishtar Society

Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art and The Ishtar Society

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art houses a superb collection of global significance for the study of art history and archaeology. The more than 7,000 works cover a period from around 8000 B.C. to the Arab conquests and the rise of Islam in the seventh century A.D., and a geographical area that spans today's Middle East, Iran, Caucasus, and Central Asia. From the art of some of the world's first cities to that of great empires, the Department's holdings illustrate the beauty and craftsmanship, as well as the profound interconnections, cultural and religious diversity, and lasting legacies that characterize the ancient art of this vast region.

Through its permanent galleries, exhibitions, cultural heritage and archaeological initiatives, public activities, and publications, the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art works to conserve, study, display, and celebrate this rich heritage. As parts of the region face grave challenges in the present, this work has never been more important.

The Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art and The Ishtar Society members play a critical role in supporting the Department—they are part of our community, share in our activities, interact with curatorial staff, and receive invitations to special events such as lectures, curator-led tours, and receptions. Members also receive copies of Department publications and formal recognition in the Museum’s Annual Report.

The annual membership dues for Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art are $6,000 for an individual or couple; and $5,000 for those under 40 years of age. Annual membership dues for The Ishtar Society, our leadership group of underwriters, are $10,000.

For more information, including tax deductibility of your gift, please contact the Curatorial Friends Group at 212 570 3907 or

Above: Two panels with striding lions (detail), ca. 604–562 B.C. Neo-Babylonian, Mesopotamia, Babylon (modern Hillah). Ceramic, glaze; 38.25 x 89.5 in. (97.16 x 227.33 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.13.1-.2)