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Akili Tommasino, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum Art speaking at University of Delaware Winterthur to the 2024 SIP-C cohort about his exhibit

Posted by June 29, 2024 / by Dr. Jontyle Robinson

Flight Into Egypt: Black Artists and Ancient Egypt from 1876 – Now

Tommasino examines the symbolic importance of ancient Egypt to Black artists and other cultural figures, from the nineteenth century through the Harlem Renaissance to the present.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Black Americans looked to ancient Egypt as evidence of a preeminent ancient culture from the African continent. Flight into Egypt traces ancient Egypt’s influence on artists, from Edmonia Lewis’s sculpture The Death of Cleopatra (1876) to the efflorescence of Afrocentric visual art during the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and artistic tendencies of the ensuing decades. Featuring more than 200 works that span nearly 150 years, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, posters, prints, video, photographs, and record album covers, this volume explores how Black artists, writers, and musicians—and modern and contemporary Egyptian artists—have employed ancient Egyptian imagery to craft a unifying identity. Authors bring to light the overlooked (often intentionally obscured) contributions of Black scholars to the study of ancient Egypt, while statements by contemporary Black and Egyptian artists illuminate ancient Egypt’s continued hold on the creative imagination.

Catalogue published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Distributed by Yale University Press

Exhibition Schedule:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(November 17, 2024–February 17, 2025)

Ameya Grant

Assistant Conservator, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ameya Grant joined the conservation team responsible for the renovation of the Ancient Near East and Cypriot galleries in 2023. Prior to this, she was a graduate intern in Objects Conservation at The Met. Ameya holds a BS in chemistry with a minor in art history from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a dual MS/MA degree in conservation and art history from the New York University Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center. She has completed pre- program and graduate internships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Park Service Harper’s Ferry Center; she has also conducted archaeological fieldwork in Turkey and Egypt. Throughout her professional journey, Ameya has pursued training in the treatment of decorative arts and inorganic archaeological objects.

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