“Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin Nedjemankh” Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

poster for “Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin Nedjemankh” Exhibition

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The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 1, Lila Acheson Wallace Galleries for Egyptian Art, Gallery 136

A highly ornamented ancient Egyptian coffin from the first century B.C. will be the spectacular centerpiece of the exhibition Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin, opening July 20 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The recently acquired work, which was inscribed for a high-ranking priest of the ram-headed god Heryshef of Herakleopolis, will be displayed with 70 other works, also from The Met collection.

The exhibition will be arranged thematically to illuminate the role of Nedjemankh as a priest in ancient Egypt, his burial, and the decoration on the coffin. Distinctive installations in the exhibition include an imitation leopard skin once worn by a priest and a display of funerary objects depicted in a scene on the coffin.

Made of cartonnage (layers of textile stiffened with glue and covered with plaster), the coffin has an elaborately decorated surface that is sheathed in gold. Scenes and texts in thick gesso relief were intended to protect and guide Nedjemankh on his journey from death to eternal life as a transfigured spirit. According to ancient texts, the use of gold in the coffin assisted the deceased in being reborn in the next life.

On the interior of the lid are thin sheets of silver foil. To the ancient Egyptians, the gold and silver could symbolize the flesh and bones of the gods or the sun and the moon; on a more specific level, they were associated with the eyes of the cosmic deity Heryshef, whom Nedjemankh served.



from July 20, 2018 to April 21, 2019

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