Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt is the first exhibition to explore the history of iconoclasm in relation to ancient Egyptian art. With nearly forty masterpieces on loan from the renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Striking Power will examine widespread campaigns of targeted destruction driven by political and religious motivations.
Focusing on the legacies of kings Hatshepsut (reigned ca. 1478–1458 BCE) and Akhenaten (reigned ca. 1353–1336 BCE), as well as the destruction of objects in late Antiquity, the exhibition will pair damaged works, from fragmented heads to altered inscriptions, with undamaged examples. It will thus show how the deliberate destruction of objects, a practice that continues in our own day, derived at that time from the perception of images not only as a means of representation, but also as containers of powerful spiritual energy. In so doing, it will raise timely questions about ownership, memory, and visual culture.