Although it is only February, museums and galleries across the world are preparing to showcase ancient treasures and objects to the delight of museum-goers. Be sure to check out some of these exhibitions this coming spring season! Byzantium and ancient Egypt seem to be en vogue this season:
- Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has traversed across Europe and is now at the Pergamon Museum, in Berlin, Germany, from January 26 through April 29, 2012. The exhibition is themed as a journey through Pre-Islamic Arabia along famed trade routes and sites of veneration. With more than 300 objects on display–everything from ancient Roman frescoes to spectacular Arabian jewelry–it is no surprise that this exhibit has proven extremely popular with the casual visitor and the astute scholar alike. Considerable attention is also given to findings from recent excavations.
- Picturing the Past: Imaging and Imagining the Ancient Middle East is the current exhibition at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois USA, from February 6 through September 2, 2012. This fascinating show considers how Westerners have perceived the ancient Near East and how they ought to see this diverse geographic entity. With over 40 images and objects of art, this exhibition is designed to redress incorrect assumptions and delineate a more accurate image of the past.
- To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum of Art continues its journey across the United States and is now at the Joslyn Art Museum, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, from February 10 through June 3, 2012. Showcasing over 100 pieces of fine art, statues, jewelery, and beautifully decorated coffins, this exhibition explores the religious beliefs of ancient Egyptians, detailing how royalty and commoner were united in a reverence for the afterlife.
- Vaults of Heaven: Visions of Byzantium is currently on display at the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, until February 12, 2012. This exhibit explores the beauty and the intricacy of Byzantine architecture through the large-scale photographs of the celebrated Turkish photographer Ahmet Ertug. Special attention is given to the Cappadocian region of Anatolia and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. The photographs are simply breathtaking and offer a unique glimpse into the complex and vivid world of early Byzantium.
- Byzantium & Islam: Age of Transition will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, New York USA, from March 14 through June 8, 2012. This compelling show will focus on the interplay between art and culture during an age of considerable transition (the seventh century and eighth centuries CE). As the armies of Islam conquered and made inroads into the wealthy, southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire, a “cultural dialogue” emerged, redefining both Byzantium and the Islamic world. A variety of images and objects are to be displayed and careful attention is to be given to the phenomenon of iconoclasm in Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish communities, during this era.
- The Dawn of Egyptian Art will be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, New York USA from April 10 through August 5, 2012. This show will cover the genesis and subsequent development of Egyptian art from the Predynastic and Early Dynastic Periods (c. 4000-2650 BCE). With over 175 objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and twelve other museums from all over the world, the odds are that this exhibition will be spellbinding.
- Ancient Egypt–Art and Magic: Treasures from the Fondation Gandur pour L’Art is the special exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, in St Petersburg, Florida USA, until April 29, 2012. With over 100 special objects, this exhibition highlights the “spiritual qualities” of art and object, in addition to the technical prowess of the ancient Egyptians. Special consideration is given to jewelry and the various uses of gold in ancient Egyptian culture.