Featured Work of Art
Model Bakery and Brewery from the Tomb of Meketre, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Amenemhat I, ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
Wood, gesso, paint, linen
28 3/4 x W. 21 5/8 x H. 11 7/16 in. (73 x 55 x 29 cm)
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1920 (20.3.12)
Collection Area: Egyptian Art
Subject Areas: Visual Arts, English Language Arts, World History
Grades: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Topics/Themes: The Art of Belief, Art and Writing
Students will be able to
- use art as a primary resource to learn more about daily life and the afterlife in ancient Egypt;
- use visual evidence to support interpretations of works of art; and
- use drawing as a form of note-taking.
Visual Arts – Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
Visual Arts – Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
Visual Arts – Making Connections between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
English Language Arts – Communication Skills
English Language Arts – Communication Strategies
English Language Arts – Applying Knowledge
World History – Era 2: Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples, 4000–1000 B.C.E.
Questions for Viewing
- Take a moment to look closely. What do you notice?
- Focus on one figure. Use your body to recreate his or her pose. What do you notice as you move into position? If this scene came to life, how might the figure move?
- Note the item the figure is holding. What function might this object have? How might it be used?
- Based on the information you've gathered, how would you describe this person's job?
- Take a look at the other figures in the scene. What similarities and differences do you notice?
- How would you describe the relationship between the figures? What do you see that makes you say that?
- If you worked in this shop, which job would you want? Why?
- This ancient Egyptian model of workers brewing beer and baking bread was found in the tomb of an important government official named Meketre. What does this object add to your understanding of daily life and the belief in an afterlife in ancient Egypt?
Explore other items from Meketre's tomb such as Scribes from Meketre's model granary (20.3.11), Group of offering bearers (20.3.8), or Traveling boat being rowed (20.3.1) on view in the Egyptian galleries. Spend some time with one of the objects and sketch what you see. As you work, make notes along the edge of your drawing to highlight key features. Compare and contrast your findings with your peers. What does this object add to your understanding of daily life and the belief in an afterlife in ancient Egypt?
Materials: Paper, pencil, clipboard
Activity Setting: Museum
"Bakers and Brewers from Meketre's model bakery [Egyptian; From the tomb of Meketre, western Thebes] (20.3.12)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)
Pre-Visit Guide for Teachers: Art of Ancient Egypt (PDF)
Roehrig, Catharine H. "Life along the Nile: Three Egyptians of Ancient Thebes." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 60, no. 1 (Summer 2002): 1, 3, 6–56.
Sloan, Christopher. Bury the Dead: Tombs, Corpses, Mummies, Skeletons & Rituals. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2002.
Watts, Edith. The Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998. Download the resource.
Animal pen with figures, Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25–220), 1st–early 3rd century A.D.
Earthenware with green lead glaze
H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); W. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Charlotte C. and John C. Weber Collection, Gift of Charlotte C. and John C. Weber, 1994 (1994.605.21)
Marble grave stele of a little girl, ca. 450–440 B.C.
H. 31 1/2 in. (80 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1927 (27.45)
Authors: Sofia Gans and Claire Moore
Affiliation: The Metropolitan Museum of Art