“A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt” Exhibition

Brooklyn Museum

poster for “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt” Exhibition
[Image: Amarna King, circa 1352–1336 B.C.E. Limestone, paint, gold leaf, 83/8 x 17/8 in. Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 29.34. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)]
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Ends in 10 days
Closed Today (Tuesday)

Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

#awomansafterlife

A Year of Yes
The ancient Egyptians believed that to make rebirth possible for a deceased woman, she briefly had to turn into a man. Guided by new research inspired in part by feminist scholarship, the exhibition A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt explores how this process was thought to take place.

Egyptian medicine taught that a woman, once in her tomb, faced a biological barrier to rebirth. Because the ancient Egyptians believed that in human reproduction it was the man who created the fetus, transferring it to the woman during intercourse, rebirth was impossible for a woman alone. To overcome this perceived problem, a priest magically transformed a woman’s mummy into a man long enough to create a fetus. This required representing a woman with red skin on her coffin—the color normally assigned to a man—and reciting spells that addressed the woman with masculine pronouns, spells also recorded graphically on the coffin. A woman later returned to her original female state and incubated herself for rebirth into the afterlife as a woman.

This exhibition presents objects from our renowned collection of ancient Egyptian art. It includes the painted coffin box and mask of Weretwahset, which represents a deceased woman with red skin, the magical intervention that gave her the male power to create a fetus for her own rebirth. There is also a small, finely carved statuette of a woman; her elaborate wig and close-fitting dress indicate that she has returned to the female state after recreating herself for rebirth.

A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt is organized by Edward Bleiberg, Curator of Egyptian Art, Brooklyn Museum.

A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt is part of A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum, a yearlong series of ten exhibitions celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Leadership support is provided by Elizabeth A. Sackler, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Calvin Klein Family Foundation, Mary Jo and Ted Shen, and an anonymous donor. Generous support is also provided by Annette Blum, the Taylor Foundation, the Antonia and Vladimer Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund, Beth Dozoretz, The Cowles Charitable Trust, and Almine Rech Gallery.

Media

Schedule

from December 15, 2016 to December 01, 2017

Website

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org (venue's website)

Fee

Suggested Contributions: Adults $10, Seniors and Students $6, Members and Children under 12 and First Saturday of the month 5pm to 11pm Free

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
thursdays closing at 22:00,
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays
Note:First Saturday of the month 11am to 11pm

Access

Address: 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: 718-638-5000 Fax: 718-501-6136

Subway: 2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum

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