BALTIMORE.- The Walters Art Museum presents the exhibit Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt through November 18, 2007. Magic played an important role in religions of the ancient world. Amulets in particular were believed to posess great power to bring protection, health, luck, and even immortality through their images and symbols. This small exhibition will feature 46 amulets, scarabs, figurines, and ritual objects associated with this belief in the power of magic in ancient Egypt.
The art and history of the ancient world comes alive in one of the Walters Art Museums best-loved collections, which comprises amazing treasures from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, Etruria, and the Near East. The Walters collection is one of the largest and finest assemblages of ancient art in the United States.
Statuary, reliefs, stelae, funerary objects, jewelry, and objects from daily life, dating from prehistoric to Roman Egypt (5th millennium BC 4th century AD ), can be found in the museum's collection of ancient Egyptian art. Among the most impressive pieces are two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, sarcophagi, an intact mummy still in its elaborate wrappings, as well as images of private individuals and kings and impressive jewelry.
The ancient Near Eastern collection represents the art of ancient Mesopotamia, Persia, the Levant, Syria, and Anatolia and covers a period of 2,500 years, beginning around 3000 BC with the rise of Mesopotamian civilization. Among the outstanding works in the collection are the 9th-century BC alabaster reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II.
The outstanding collection of ancient Greek art illustrates the history and culture of Greece from the Cycladic to the Hellenistic period (ca. 3rd millennium1st century BC). It ranges from engraved gemstones to exceptional vases and marble statues. Among the dazzling jewelry in the ancient treasury are the extraordinary Olbia bracelets, which are encrusted with multicolored gemstones.
The most treasured objects in the collection of ancient Roman art at the Walters are the seven sarcophagi from the tomb of the prominent Licinian and Calpurnian families in Rome. The intricate marble carvings, depicting mythological scenes, rank them among the finest ancient Roman sarcophagi in the world. Exquisite Etruscan bronzes and Roman portraits, including powerful depictions of the emperors Augustus and Marcus Aurelius, are further highlights of the collection.