Exhibitions/ Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World

Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World

At The Met Fifth Avenue
April 18–July 17, 2016
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

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Exhibition Overview

The conquests of Alexander the Great transformed the ancient world, making trade and cultural exchange possible across great distances. Alexander's retinue of court artists and extensive artistic patronage provided a model for his successors, the Hellenistic kings, who came to rule over much of his empire. For the first time in the United States, a major international loan exhibition will focus on the astonishing wealth, outstanding artistry, and technical achievements of the Hellenistic period—the three centuries between Alexander's death, in 323 B.C., and the establishment of the Roman Empire, in the first century B.C.

This exhibition will bring together some 264 artworks that were created through the patronage of the royal courts of the Hellenistic kingdoms, with an emphasis on the ancient city of Pergamon. Examples in diverse media—from marble, bronze, and terracotta sculptures to gold jewelry, vessels of glass and engraved gems, and precious metals and coins—reveal the enduring legacy of Hellenistic artists and their profound influence on Roman art. The ancient city of Pergamon (now known as Bergama, in present-day Turkey) was the capital of the Attalid Dynasty that ruled over large parts of Asia Minor.

The exhibition represents a historic collaboration between The Met and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, whose celebrated sculptures will comprise approximately one-third of the works on view. Numerous prominent museums in Greece, the Republic of Italy, other European countries, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United States will also be represented, often through objects that have never before left their museum collections.

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"Blockbuster"—Wall Street Journal

"The exhibition's scale and scope are colossal"—The New Yorker

"An exhilarating survey"—Financial Times


The exhibition is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Betsy and Edward Cohen / Areté Foundation.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation logo

Additional support is provided by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman, Renée Belfer, Diane Carol Brandt, Gilbert and Ildiko Butler, Mary and Michael Jaharis, and The Vlachos Family Fund.

It is supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, James and Mary Hyde Ottaway, Mary and Michael Jaharis, and the Jenny Boondas Fund.


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Exhibition Objects





Fragmentary colossal head of a youth, 2nd century B.C. Greek, Hellenistic Period. Marble; H. 22 7/8 in. (58 cm). Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin