The Met: Ancient Egypt Transformed

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by Sara Schuld, Arts Writer

Over this year’s holiday break, I snuck into my dad’s suitcase and accompanied him on his business trip to New York City.  Aside from window shopping in Soho and fangirling over Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Rockefeller plaza, our day trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art stands out as my most stirring NYC adventure.

My dad and I managed to fumble through the subway system, miraculously finding ourselves at the foot of the Met’s towering, iconic façade in hopes of exploring the headlining Egypt exhibition. I excitedly envisioned Anna Wintour striding through the marble halls, hard at work planning the annual Met Gala, and recalled Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan strolling through the museum on their date in When Harry Met Sally. Not only does the Met carry the coolest vestiges of art and world history, but the museum itself is also a landmark of serious pop culture importance.

After forcibly enlisting my dad as my photographer to seize the infamous Gossip Girl-esque picture on the Met steps, we ventured into the museum with no intentions but to wander and get lost in the galleries. The featured exhibition was “Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom.” The Middle Kingdom chronicled 2030-1650 B.C., marking the start of an enormous surge of artistic revival and cultural expression. The exhibition’s pieces ranged from massive sandstone statues of kings to hieroglyphic amulets and intricate gold collar-necklaces.

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The 230 ancient objects on display provoked the alluring contrast between humanity with wildness. The Middle Kingdom art presents sculptures of pharaohs with expressive features, quietly alluding to their personalities and offering a glimpse into their individuality. The exhibition also featured figurines of queens with sphinx bodies and ivory carvings of dogs.

There is something attractive about the sandy-weathered foundations and rich, gold accents of the time period. Even through the opulence of the stones and the references to royalty, evidence of Egyptian spirituality dominates. 

Amidst all that New York has to offer, I am so glad I chose to get lost in the art of the Middle Kingdom during my short trip to the city. It was an unforgettable escape to a complex culture that I got to experience with my dad.

Photos 1 and 2 by: Sara Schuld

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