Cummer Museum's New 'Striking Power' Exhibit Unravels Piece Of Egyptian Art History

Jan 29, 2020

Striking Power, a new exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, explores the meaning behind the vandalism of ancient Egyptian art. It opens Friday, Jan. 31. 

Striking Power unravels the history of iconoclasm in relation to ancient Egyptian art. The exhibit features forty works on loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The deliberately defaced pieces of art will be paired with undamaged examples.

In an interview on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, Holly Keris, Chief Curator for the museum, explained the impact of iconoclasm on the Egyptian culture.

Credit Heather Schatz/ WJCT

“An image was actually the representation of that particular Pharaoh, that particular god, that particular goddess on earth for perpetuity. So potentially harming an image like that has a lot more significance behind it.”

Ross and Keris said in jest that it was the  ancient Egyptian version of unfollowing someone on Twitter.

Iconoclasm, or image destruction, is not a concept specific to ancient Egypt. In fact, a more modern demonstration of the concept is the vandalizing of Civil War monuments.

In tandem with the exhibition, the museum is hosting a four-part lecture series, exploring how iconoclasm plays out in different times and places, including our own.

The Cummer will also host an Egyptian themed dinner party. Finally, the museum will host an evening with Dr. Bob Brier who will explain his theories on the death of King Tutankhamen, a 19-year-old pharaoh who died mysteriously.

The exhibition will run through Sunday, April 26, 2020.

Sarah Glenn can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org, 904-358-6317