Masterworks from the Morgan Near Eastern Seals

Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Ave

Pierpont Morgan took great interest in ancient Near Eastern seals, as is evident from his collection, dating 3500–330 B.C. This exhibition displays a number of the best examples of these objects, which are among the earliest known pictorial carvings ... more

Pierpont Morgan took great interest in ancient Near Eastern seals, as is evident from his collection, dating 3500–330 B.C. This exhibition displays a number of the best examples of these objects, which are among the earliest known pictorial carvings used to communicate ideas. Created for about three thousand years in the region the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia, or "the land between two rivers," the function of seals was both practical, as a means of identification, and amuletic, intended to protect or benefit the owner in some way. They are among the smallest pictorial objects ever produced—often just one inch in size—intricately detailed by sculptors who carved them with simple tools in semiprecious stones. This is the first time that the Morgan's collection of seals will be the focus of a theme-based exhibition—examining the development of the iconography of power as represented in the cylinder seals from their beginnings in the late fourth millennium B.C. with the emerging temple states through to the great empires of the first millennium B.C. The exhibition will end with the absorption of Mesopotamia into the Persian Empire, along with its ancient iconography, which was... more

Pierpont Morgan took great interest in ancient Near Eastern seals, as is evident from his collection, dating 3500–330 B.C. This exhibition displays a number of the best examples of these objects, which are among the earliest known pictorial carvings used to communicate ideas. Created for about three thousand years in the region the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia, or "the land between two rivers," the function of seals was both practical, as a means of identification, and amuletic, intended to protect or benefit the owner in some way. They are among the smallest pictorial objects ever produced—often just one inch in size—intricately detailed by sculptors who carved them with simple tools in semiprecious stones.

This is the first time that the Morgan's collection of seals will be the focus of a theme-based exhibition—examining the development of the iconography of power as represented in the cylinder seals from their beginnings in the late fourth millennium B.C. with the emerging temple states through to the great empires of the first millennium B.C. The exhibition will end with the absorption of Mesopotamia into the Persian Empire, along with its ancient iconography, which was subsequently used by the Achaemenid kings until the arrival of Alexander the Great.

In addition to the cylinder seals, a larger-scale statue from the ancient Near East is on view to demonstrate the close relationship between seals and other major artworks. Highlights of the works on view include Nude Bearded Hero Wrestling with Water Buffalo; Bull-Man Fighting Lion (ca. 2334–2154 B.C.), an Akkadian period seal depicting two heraldic pairs and emphasizing the concepts of force and power, and A Winged Hero Pursuing Two Ostriches (ca. 12th–11th century B.C.), one of the most striking of the Morgan's Middle Assyrian seals.


Drag the street view to look around 360°.
Use the arrow buttons to navigate down the street and around the neighborhood!

Masterworks from the Morgan Near Eastern Seals

Wed, December 08
10:30AM
$
Thu, December 09
10:30AM
$
Fri, December 10
10:30AM
$
Sat, December 11
10:00AM
$
Sun, December 12
11:00AM
$
Tue, December 14
10:30AM
$
Wed, December 15
10:30AM
$
Thu, December 16
10:30AM
$
Fri, December 17
10:30AM
$
Sat, December 18
10:00AM
$
Occurs 143 more times through Jun 05

Morgan Library and Museum

225 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-0008

Schedule

December 8, Wednesday 10:30AM
December 9, Thursday 10:30AM
December 10, Friday 10:30AM
December 11, Saturday 10:00AM
See complete schedule

Category

Arts

Other Arts Events

Adventures with Dora and Diego

Enjoy new adventures in the rainforest and join Diego on a series of high-stakes... view

American Identities: A New Look

This major installation of more than three hundred fifty objects from the Brookl... view

It Happened In Brooklyn

This exhibit highlights key moments in our nation's history and how they played ... view

Hidden Kingdoms: The World of Microbes

We live in a sea of microbes...
Even though you cannot see these microbes, you ... view

 

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts - Morgan Library & Museum

When Pierpont Morgan acquired his first medieval manuscripts at the end of the n... view

Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

The art of the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and North, Ce... view

Hall of Biodiversity

The Hall of Biodiversity is a groundbreaking exhibition devoted to what many sci... view

Hall of Mexico and Central America

The diverse art, architecture, and traditions of the Maya, Toltec, Olmec, Aztec,... view