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In this opening lecture for Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt, exhibition curator Dr. Edward Bleiberg will explore the reasons that ancient Egyptian statues were deliberately damaged in the time of the Pharaohs and later. This talk will reveal the meaning and significance of the destruction of features such as faces, arms, hands, and why this exhibition of broken statues is an exciting opportunity for discovery. Finally, Dr. Bleiberg will consider the way that ancient harm to art both speaks to contemporary issues such as race and racism and casts light on current debates about public art in our world.

A preeminent Egyptologist and curator, Dr. Edward Bleiberg served as the curator of Egyptian, Near Eastern, and classical art at the Brooklyn Museum until his retirement in 2020. Among his many accomplishments, he has organized seven exhibitions, five of which traveled nationally and internationally and he has authored or edited a number of major publications. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor at Hunter College and continues to write and lecture about ancient Egyptian iconoclasm. Dr. Bleiberg earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Toronto in 1984.

This program is included with museum admission. Special registration not required.

Image: Dr. Edward Bleiberg (left); Face and Shoulder from an Anthropoid Sarcophagus, 332–30 BCE. Black basalt. Brooklyn Museum; Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1516E (right).

Event Details

  • Jayne De Point
  • Gerald Mead
  • Reggie Henderson
  • Christine Shapiro

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