This exhibition tells the story of the ninth-century B.C. stone reliefs excavated in the early twentieth century at Tell Halaf, Syria and their subsequent destruction, loss, or dispersal to museum collections around the world. Examining the circuitous journey four of these reliefs took to arrive at The Met under the aegis of the World War II–era Alien Property Custodian Act, the presentation also highlights the very personal connection of the reliefs to contemporary artist Rayyane Tabet.
Listen to the audio experience:
Accompanied by a publication.
"Fascinating. . . . An apt visual metaphor for the frieze's history and the mystery of its missing elements." —New Yorker
"What makes this exhibition really special is the personal history woven into the tale . . ." —Hyperallergic (Best of 2019)
This exhibition is made possible by the Friends of Ancient Near Eastern Art.
The Met's quarterly Bulletin program is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader's Digest.
View a timeline of the Tell Halaf reliefs from their excavation to the present.
Join contemporary artist Rayyane Tabet and Met curators to explore the development of the exhibition Rayyane Tabet / Alien Property. The exhibition tells the story of the ninth-century B.C. stone reliefs excavated at Tell Halaf, Syria, and their subsequent destruction, loss, or dispersal to museum collections around the world. In this discussion, the collaborative team consider their shifting perspectives on the exhibition, which opened in October 2019, in light of the global events of the intervening year.
Rayyane Tabet. Orthostat #170 (detail) from Orthostates, 2017–ongoing. Framed charcoal on paper rubbing. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Bequest of Henrie Jo Barth and Josephine Lois Berger-Nadler Endowment Fund, 2019 (2019.288.1–.32)