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Exhibitions/ New Discoveries: Early Liturgical Textiles from Egypt, 200–400

New Discoveries: Early Liturgical Textiles from Egypt, 200–400

At The Met Fifth Avenue
September 23, 2015–September 5, 2016

Exhibition Overview

Iconographic analysis and scientific testing have revealed new information about the meaning and use of two textiles in the Museum's collection. The first—woven in a loop pile meant to suggest a mosaic—has recently been recognized as a wall hanging for Christian liturgical use. The second—five recently acquired elements from a depiction of the Crossing of the Red Sea as described in the book of Exodus—can be understood as being from a wall hanging for Christian or possibly Jewish use.


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Exhibition Objects

"The Astonished People" (detail from Exodus Painting, five elements from a painted hanging depicting the Crossing of the Red Sea), A.D. mid-2nd–mid-4th century. Indigo dyed open-weave linen, tempera, Roman, Egypt(?), preserved as a burial wrapping. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Rogers and Harris Brisbane Dick Funds; Caroline Howard Hyman Gift; Hagop Kevorkian Fund Gift, in memory of Hagop Kevorkian; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ruddock, Tianaderrah Foundation, John C. Weber, Diane Carol Brandt, several members of The Chairman's Council, and Elizabeth A.R. and Ralph S. Brown Jr. Gifts; Austin B. Chinn Gift, in honor of Diane Carol Brandt, and Christopher C. Grisanti and Suzanne P. Fawbush Gifts, 2014 (2014.629a–e)