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See how ancient Egypt inspires today's art at AntiquiTEA

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Sept. 10, 2015

Ancient Egyptian influences and contemporary art go together like tea and scones.

Enjoy both at the Michael C. Carlos Museum on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m. in the Reception Hall when Rachel Kreiter uses examples from the Carlos collection to illustrate the pharaonic sources artists are looking to for inspiration in the 21st century.

Kreiter, a doctoral candidate in art history, explores how these ancient Egyptian arts continue to thrive in unexpected places today, despite the collapse of the civilization that spawned them millennia ago. She will discuss works of contemporary Western art from the past 15 years that employ Egyptian or Egyptianizing imagery, using examples of objects in the Carlos Museum collection to illustrate the types of Egyptian visual material these contemporary artworks are referencing, and explore the meaning behind them.

Kreiter wants to link Carlos Museum objects to a broader current artistic practice and to demonstrate that the value of Egyptian objects transcends their original, ancient function. She’ll bring some less discussed Egyptian artworks into dialogue with big names in contemporary art, for example, artists like Kara Walker, a contemporary African-American artist who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work, and Matthew Barney, an artist who works in sculpture, photography, drawing and film combined with performance and video.

Kreiter’s talk kicks off the monthly AntiquiTEA series presented by the Carlos Museum throughout the academic year.  The free, public presentations feature talks by experts whose scholarship aligns with objects in the museum's collections.

The series continues Thursday, Oct. 15, when Laura Wingfield, assistant curator of Art of the Americas, discusses the gun/war club as a work of art and a political statement for many Native American groups. Then on Thursday, Nov. 12, Rebecca Stone, faculty curator of Art of the Americas, discusses various social and political ramifications of displaying Native North American art. 

For more information, see AntiquiTEA at the Carlos Museum.