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Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt

Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt
Cleveland Museum of Art
March 13 through June 12, 2016

The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt. The Exhibition examines the myths and realities of the Egyptian kings' power through extraordinary ancient objects from the British Museum.

Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt brings 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history to life through some of the finest objects from the British Museum's vast holdings and several of Cleveland's own masterworks. The first Egyptian art exhibition organized at the Cleveland Museum of Art since 1996, Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt looks past the myth to reveal the carefully designed personas of the Egyptian kings and explore the realities of daily life for the ancient royals.

Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt, a centennial special exhibition, is on view in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Hall from March 13 through June 12, 2016.

Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art

Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt includes more than 150 objects, from monumental sculpture to exquisite jewelry. While many objects on view were created to project a regal, all-powerful image of the pharaoh, the story that emerges is also one of a country at times divided by civil war, conquered by foreign powers or ruled by competing kings. These ancient rulers were not always male, or even Egyptian, but they shared the challenges of ruling one of the greatest civilizations the world has seen.

"In ancient Egypt the image of the pharaoh was first and foremost an official one, linked to the politicoreligious nature of Egyptian kingship," said Aude Semat, guest curator of the exhibition and lecturer in Egyptology at the École du Louvre. "However, the reality of power was somewhat more complicated. Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt presents an opportunity to glimpse the back stories behind the exercise of power."

The following video clips and images are intended to whet your appetite for the Exhibit. You really need to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art if possible to see Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt in person. Details on Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt.

This short video clip defines what a Pharaoh is and shows a seated statue of Pharaoh Seti II from about 1200 BC. Also the head of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II who reigned from 2050-1999 BC.



seated statue of Pharaoh Seti II


This short video shows a Sphinx of Pharaoh Amenahat IV who reigned from 1814-1805 BC. A sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a human.



Sphinx of Pharaoh Amenahat IV

Sphinx of Pharaoh Amenahat IV

Sphinx of Pharaoh Amenahat IV


Do you think that only modern politicians have enemy lists? Here is a large (103x62x52 cm) red granite Enemies List from ancient Egypt.



This short clip shows 3 kneeling bronze figures posing in jubilation. They are an unknown king, a jackal headed deity and a falcon headed deity.



Egyptian art kneeling trio - 3 kneeling bronze figures posing in jubilation

3 kneeling bronze figures posing in jubilation

An ostracon is a piece of pottery (or stone), usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In archaeology, ostraca may contain scratched-in words or other forms of writing which may give clues as to the time when the piece was in use. Here is an ostracon depicting pharaoh presenting a libation offering. From Thebes Egypt about 1186-1069 BC, made of limestone and 30x20x2 cm.



ostracon depicting pharaoh presenting a libation offering

Ostracon depicting pharaoh presenting a libation offering

ostracon depicting pharaoh presenting a libation offering


Enjoy some of these other images from Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt but realize that this is just a few of the pieces and it is so much better in person.

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Head of Amenhotep III wearing the blue crown

Head of Amenhotep III wearing the blue crown


Head of Amenhotep III wearing the blue crown


Figure of a Squatting Baboon

Figure of a Squatting Baboon


Figure of a Squatting Baboon


Alexander the Great head

Head of Alexander the Great


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Government Official - Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art

Government Official - Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Government Official - Pharaoh exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art


Again, these images are just a small taste of the exhibit. You really need to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art if possible to see Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt in person. Details on Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt.

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