Permanent Collection

Profile view of Sumerian sculpture of Head of a Ewe, displayed in a temple
Head of a Ewe
Head of a Ewe
Profile view of Sumerian sculpture of Head of a Ewe, displayed in a temple

Head of a Ewe

Sumeria
Protoliterate period (c. 3500–3000 B.C.)
c. 3200 B.C.
Sandstone
5 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 6 1/8 in. (14.6 x 14 x 15.6 cm)
AP 1979.38
This realistic ewe’s head comes from a full sculpture of a sheep that was probably displayed in a temple, but its precise ritualistic purpose is unknown.
Frontal view of Female Figure by Bastis Master from the Early Cycladic Period (c. 2500–2300 B.C.)
Female Figure
Female Figure
Frontal view of Female Figure by Bastis Master from the Early Cycladic Period (c. 2500–2300 B.C.)

Female Figure

Bastis Master
Cycladic (c. 2500–2300 B.C.)
Early Cycladic II phase
c. 2500–2300 B.C.
Marble
16 1/4 x 5 13/16 in. (41.2 x 14.7 cm)
AG 1970.02
This statuette of a female figure was produced by the Early Bronze Age culture that flourished in the Cyclades Islands of Greece in the second half of the third millennium B.C.
Full view of Jar with Sculptural Rim from the Jomon period of Japan
Jar with Sculptural Rim
Jar with Sculptural Rim
Full view of Jar with Sculptural Rim from the Jomon period of Japan

Jar with Sculptural Rim

Japan
Jomon period (c. 10,500–300 B.C.)
2500–1000 B.C.
Low-fired clay
16 9/16 x 14 15/16 in. (42 x 38 cm)
APx 1974.03
Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling braided or twisted ropes across the surface of moist clay vessels in the Neolithic period in Japan, which is thus known as the Jomon period.
Full view of Storage Jar from the China, Gansu province, Yangshao culture (c. 2500 B.C.), jars like this are known for  they are noted for their generous forms and great vitality of design
Storage Jar
Storage Jar
Full view of Storage Jar from the China, Gansu province, Yangshao culture (c. 2500 B.C.), jars like this are known for  they are noted for their generous forms and great vitality of design

Storage Jar

China, Gansu province, Yangshao culture
Neolithic period, Banshan phase (c. 2600–2300 B.C.)
c. 2500 B.C.
Low-fired earthenware painted with iron oxide and manganese pigments
H. 14 in. (35.6 cm); Diam. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
AG 1987.01
Large storage jars, painted with a free hand in imaginative geometric designs, are commonly found in Neolithic tombs in Gansu province, located in west China.
Limestone tomb sculpture showing a seated court official accompanied by his wife and son. Inscriptions name the main figure as Ka-nefer and his family. The figures were originally painted and retain much of their color on the hair and eyes, with traces on the skin, garments, and jewelry.
Group Statue of Ka-nefer and His Family
Group Statue of Ka-nefer and His Family
Limestone tomb sculpture showing a seated court official accompanied by his wife and son. Inscriptions name the main figure as Ka-nefer and his family. The figures were originally painted and retain much of their color on the hair and eyes, with traces on the skin, garments, and jewelry.

Group Statue of Ka-nefer and His Family

Egypt, probably Saqqara
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5 (c. 2465–2323 B.C.)
c. 2465–2323 B.C.
Limestone, with traces of original painted decoration
13 5/8 × 5 3/4 × 8 7/8 in. (34.6 × 14.6 × 22.5 cm)
AP 2005.03
This highly important tomb sculpture shows a seated court official accompanied by his wife and son.
Storage Jar from Neolithic period, Machang phase of China with strong pattern
Storage Jar
Storage Jar
Storage Jar from Neolithic period, Machang phase of China with strong pattern

Storage Jar

China
Neolithic period, Machang phase (c. 7000–2000 B.C.)
c. 2200 B.C.
Low-fired clay with iron oxide and manganese pigments
H. 15 in. (38.1 cm); Diam. 16 in. (40.7 cm)
AP 1985.16
Large storage jars, painted with a free hand in imaginative geometric designs, are commonly found in Neolithic tombs in Gansu province, located in west China.
Xochipala figure of a seated woman with fully modeled eyeballs with pierced pupils, parted lips revealing two rows of teeth, finely worked feet with fanned toes, and delicately incised hair fashioned into a stylized arrangement (these characteristics were typical of this regional style in Mexico)
Seated Woman
Seated Woman
Xochipala figure of a seated woman with fully modeled eyeballs with pierced pupils, parted lips revealing two rows of teeth, finely worked feet with fanned toes, and delicately incised hair fashioned into a stylized arrangement (these characteristics were typical of this regional style in Mexico)

Seated Woman

Mexico, Guerrero, Xochipala culture
Pre-Classic period (c. 1600–100 B.C.)
c. 1500–1200 B.C.
Ceramic
4 3/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 7/8 in. (11.1 x 8 x 7.3 cm)
AP 1971.04
The Xochipala figures are named after the remote West Mexican village near which all known examples have been found. The style is one of extraordinary physical presence and naturalism for its period.
Detail of upper legs to head of the clay standing man, which may represent an early regional style influenced by the art of the Olmec homeland on the Gulf Coast
Standing Man
Standing Man
Detail of upper legs to head of the clay standing man, which may represent an early regional style influenced by the art of the Olmec homeland on the Gulf Coast

Standing Man

Mexico, Guerrero, Xochipala culture
Pre-Classic period (c. 1600–100 B.C.)
c. 1600–1200 B.C.
Ceramic
8 1/2 x 5 1/16 x 2 7/8 in. (21.6 x 12.9 x 7.3 cm)
AP 1971.03
This figure of a standing man came from a burial found near the remote mountain village of Xochipala, and may represent an early regional style influenced by the art of the Olmec homeland on the Gulf Coast, or perhaps a formative period of Olmec art.
Profile view of Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut in which she grasps a symbolic cobra that supports a sun disk and cowhorns and rests on a base composed of two upraised arms (the hieroglyphic sign for “Ka”)—a magical gesture intended to preserve life and ward off evil
Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut
Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut
Profile view of Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut in which she grasps a symbolic cobra that supports a sun disk and cowhorns and rests on a base composed of two upraised arms (the hieroglyphic sign for “Ka”)—a magical gesture intended to preserve life and ward off evil

Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut

Egypt, Temple of Montu (?), Armant
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Hatshepsut, c. 1473-1458 B.C.
c. 1473-1458 B.C.
Gray green schist
16 1/8 x 6 x 12 in. (41 x 15.2 x 30.5 cm)
AP 1985.02
This masterpiece of New Kingdom art portrays Senenmut, the most favored official of the dowager Queen Hatshepsut, who reigned from about 1473–1458 B.C., offering an image of Renenutet, goddess of the harvest and nourishment, on behalf of the well-being of his sovereign and in hopes of eternal blessi
Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, which shows him holding the traditional insignia of kingship against his chest—the scepter in the form of a crook in his left hand and the flail or whip in his right.
Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II
Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II
Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, which shows him holding the traditional insignia of kingship against his chest—the scepter in the form of a crook in his left hand and the flail or whip in his right.

Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II

Egypt, South Karnak
Dynasty 18, c. 1427–1400 B.C., and Dynasty 19, c. 1279–1213 B.C.
c. 1400 B.C., recarved for Ramesses II (the Great) c. 1250 B.C.
Red granite
40 1/2 x 18 x 15 in. (102.8 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm)
AP 1982.04
This regal figure of Amenhotep II shows him holding the traditional insignia of kingship against his chest—the scepter in the form of a crook in his left hand and the flail or whip in his right.
Cylinder Seal with Griffin (Bull and Lion and Inscription not pictured)
Cylinder Seal with Griffin, Bull and Lion and Inscription
Cylinder Seal with Griffin, Bull and Lion and Inscription
Cylinder Seal with Griffin (Bull and Lion and Inscription not pictured)

Cylinder Seal with Griffin, Bull and Lion and Inscription

Assyria (Iraq)
Middle Assyrian period (c. 1300–1100 B.C.)
c. 1300–1200 B.C.
Stone
H. 1 7/16 in. (3.6 cm); Diam. 11/16 in. (1.7 cm)
AP 2001.03
This seal shows a winged griffin dispatching a bull, before a rampant, snarling lion. Epitomizing Mesopotamia miniature art at its best, the artist has taken great care in defining the musculature, fur, and wings of the creatures, which represent divine forces in Mesopotamian religion.
Seated Figure of a child, with snarling expression, plump babyish proportions, and incised headdress
Seated Figure
Seated Figure
Seated Figure of a child, with snarling expression, plump babyish proportions, and incised headdress

Seated Figure

Mexico, Tenenexpan, Veracruz, Olmec culture
Preclassic period (1500–900 B.C.)
c. 1200–900 B.C.
Ceramic with white slip and traces of paint
10 7/8 x 9 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (27.7 x 23.2 x 15.6 cm)
AP 1971.02
This hollow ceramic seated figure of a child, with snarling expression, plump babyish proportions, and incised headdress, belongs to a type of so-called “hollow baby” figures found throughout Olmec territory.
Blue Chalcedony Cylinder Seal with Winged Genius and Human-headed Bulls. All wear the horned headdress of deities and supernatural beings, and have long curled hair and beards.
Cylinder Seal with Winged Genius and Human-headed Bulls
Cylinder Seal with Winged Genius and Human-headed Bulls
Blue Chalcedony Cylinder Seal with Winged Genius and Human-headed Bulls. All wear the horned headdress of deities and supernatural beings, and have long curled hair and beards.

Cylinder Seal with Winged Genius and Human-headed Bulls

Assyria (Iraq)
Neo-Assyrian period (c. 1000–612 B.C.)
c. 700 B.C.
Blue Chalcedony
H. 1 9/16 in. (4 cm); Diam. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
AP 2001.04
This seal shows an Assyrian winged genius between rampant, winged, human-headed bulls. All wear the horned headdress of deities and supernatural beings, and have long curled hair and beards.
Abstract, humanoid Female Figurine supported by short tubular legs and wide hips
Female Figurine
Female Figurine
Abstract, humanoid Female Figurine supported by short tubular legs and wide hips

Female Figurine

Japan
Jomon period (c. 10,500–300 B.C.)
c. 1000–200 B.C.
Low-fired clay
7 15/16 x 5 1/8 x 2 3/8 in. (20.1 x 13 x 6 cm)
AP 1971.15
Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling twisted rope across the surface of moist clay. The purpose of Jomon figurines is not known, but they may have been used as protective charms or fertility symbols.
heavily cast Nao Bell, ornamented on each side with eighteen conical studs arranged in three rows, separated by bands of scrolling thunder pattern (leiwen) decoration, and surrounded by borders of fine thread-relief. The tubular shank bears a raised collar decorated with two highly stylized animal masks (taotie), constituted by large, rounded “eyes” amid a scroll pattern.
Nao Bell
Nao Bell
heavily cast Nao Bell, ornamented on each side with eighteen conical studs arranged in three rows, separated by bands of scrolling thunder pattern (leiwen) decoration, and surrounded by borders of fine thread-relief. The tubular shank bears a raised collar decorated with two highly stylized animal masks (taotie), constituted by large, rounded “eyes” amid a scroll pattern.

Nao Bell

China, possibly Hunan province
Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1046–771 B.C.)
c. 10th century B.C.
Bronze
19 x 13 1/2 x 10 in. (48.3 x 34.3 x 25.4 cm)
AP 1995.03
This impressive, heavily cast nao bell is ornamented on each side with eighteen conical studs arranged in three rows, separated by bands of scrolling thunder pattern (leiwen) decoration, and surrounded by borders of fine thread-relief.
Upper thighs, torso, and head of Standing Figure with simplified, boldly flowing contours.
Standing Figure
Standing Figure
Upper thighs, torso, and head of Standing Figure with simplified, boldly flowing contours.

Standing Figure

Mexico, Olmec culture
Middle Pre-Classic period (900–300 B.C.)
c. 900–400 B.C.
Jadeite
5 1/2 x 2 11/16 x 1 1/8 in. (13.9 x 6.9 x 2.9 cm)
AP 1981.07
The Olmecs produced the first complex culture in Middle America. Their settlements saw the establishment of the first sacred centers composed of plazas, mounds, and pyramids; and the ceremonial centers contained colossal basalt sculptured heads that portrayed secular leaders as well as deities.

Pages