Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt

72 Pages


Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt—the first exhibition to explore the history of iconoclasm in ancient Egyptian art—is an in-depth examination of widespread campaigns of targeted destruction driven by political and religious motivations, featuring nearly forty masterpieces on loan from the renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum. 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 pairs damaged works, from fragmented heads to altered inscriptions, with undamaged examples. It thus shows 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 raises timely questions about ownership, memory, and visual culture.

The catalogue, co-published by the Brooklyn Museum, is fully illustrated with installation photography and includes essays by co-curators Edward Bleiberg and Stephanie Weissberg.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum and is curated by Edward Bleiberg, Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Stephanie Weissberg, Associate Curator at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.


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