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Brooklyn Museum Announces Special Exhibition of Body Part Fragments of Egyptian Sculpture
Right Eye from an Anthropoid Coffin. Egypt, New Kingdom or later, 1539-30 B.C. Obsidian, crystalline limestone, blue glass, 13/16 x 2 5/16 x 1 in. (2.1 x 5.8 x 2.6 cm). Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund.
BROOKLYN, NY.- Body Parts: Ancient Egyptian Fragments and Amulets features thirty-five representations of individual body parts from the Brooklyn Museum’s ancient Egyptian collection, many of which will be displayed for the first time. This special exhibition will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2009, through October 2, 2011.

This exhibition uses objects created as distinct body parts, as well as fragments of sculpture, to highlight the realistic portrayal of individual body parts in canonical Egyptian sculpture. The ancient Egyptians carefully depicted each part of the human body, respecting the significance of every element. When viewed individually these sculptures and fragments reveal the ancient notions of body and pose, as well as details of workmanship frequently unnoticed in more complete sculptures. To better explain each of these elements, the exhibition will make connections to specific objects in the Museum’s Egyptian collection and to Egyptian hieroglyphs.

A major highlight of the exhibition is an eye cut from crystalline limestone, obsidian, and blue glass that was once part of an anthropoid (human-shaped) coffin similar to the Museum’s famous Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpere, currently on view in the permanent installation. Body Parts also features a headless kneeling statue of Khaemwaset, a son of Ramses II, whose pose reflects a new development in religious sculpture, and a colossal left foot that was created as a votive offering for the god Serapis.

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