|Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses as well, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted, specific, and iconoclastic (Brooklyn Museum).|
But this simple observation led Bleiberg to uncover a widespread pattern of deliberate destruction, which pointed to a complex set of reasons why most works of Egyptian art came to be defaced in the first place. The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC.
Bleiberg's research is now the basis of the poignant exhibition "Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt." A selection of objects from the Brooklyn Museum's collection will travel to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation later this month under the co-direction of the latter's associate curator, Stephanie Weissberg.
Pairing damaged statues and reliefs dating from the 25th century BC to the 1st century AD with intact counterparts, the show testifies to ancient Egyptian artifacts' political and religious functions -- and the entrenched culture of iconoclasm that led to their mutilation. More + VIDEO