After sixteen years of field work in Egypt, Dorothea Arnold became an associate curator in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum in 1988. She was appointed the Lila Acheson Wallace Curator in Charge of the department in 1991, and the chairman in 2005, from which post she retired in 2012. Her scholarly work focused on Middle Kingdom art and archaeology, but also included the Amarna period and general aspects of the arts and culture of ancient Egypt. She organized major exhibitions and gallery reinstallations as well as the excavation and research of the department at sites in Egypt during her tenure.
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