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‘Life and the Afterlife’ exhibit examines what objects tell us about life and the hereafter
Egyptian boat

“Life and the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Art from the Senusret Collection” is on view at the Carlos Museum Feb. 4 – Aug. 6. Shown: Model Solar Boat. Egyptian. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, ca. 1939-1760 BCE. Wood stucco, pigment. Gift of the Georges Ricard Foundation 2018.010.415.

— Bruce M. White, 2022

The newest exhibition at the Michael C. Carlos Museum examines what objects can teach us about daily life, sacred life and the hereafter in ancient Egypt. “Life and the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Art from the Senusret Collection” is on view from Feb. 4 – Aug. 6.

The collection, named after King Senusret II’s pyramid village Hetep-Senusret in the Faiyum, was gifted to the Carlos Museum in 2018 by the Georges Ricard Foundation. The gift was given with the understanding that the collection would be conserved and used to promote knowledge of the rich funerary rituals, customs and beliefs of the ancient world as well as the life of ancient objects over time. Several items in the exhibition highlight student and faculty research, technical and scholarly collaboration, methods of analysis and conservation, and provenance tracing.

Melinda Hartwig, curator of ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern art, explains the exhibition’s focus. “In ‘Life and the Afterlife,’ we explore the history of the Senusret Collection; how objects were used in daily life; the role of amulets and jewelry to beautify and protect the wearer; how sacred votive statuettes acted as magical participants in cultic practices on behalf of the donor; the creative power of reliefs, sculpture, and steles; and how burials provided for the eternal needs of the dead. Included is the coffin assemblage and mummy of the priestess Taosiris, who through material and images, was protected and transformed into a divine ancestor for eternity.” 

This exhibition is made possible through generous support from the Forward Arts Foundation, the Morgens West Foundation, Linda and Ira Rampil, James B. Miller Jr., Sandra Still and Emily Katt.

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