Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Friday, Feb 25, 2022 – Feb 26, 2023

111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603

Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Gallery 50

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Exhibitions are free with museum admission.


Experience over 3,000 years of arts from ancient Egypt in a dynamic new gallery.

The transformed space explores aspects of life and the afterlife in the Nile Valley with the first new installation of works from the museum’s historic collection of ancient Egyptian art in a quarter-century. Striking artifacts—displayed along one wall of the gallery in a series of innovative cases that promote viewing from multiple vantage points—provide insight into the beliefs and practices of this illustrious North African culture.

Recurring themes throughout this fresh presentation of the collection consider the impact of Egypt’s natural environment, including the Nile River, on its visual culture; reveal the processes of ancient Egyptian artists; and explore the centrality of gods and goddesses to life (and death) along the Nile. Arresting sculptures, such as the statue of Shebenhor, reveal how ancient Egyptians chose to present themselves so that they would be remembered for eternity, while funerary works—such as a gilded funerary mask—unveil practices for preparing for and protecting oneself in the afterlife.


Stela of Amenemhat and Hemet, Middle Kingdom, early Dynasty 12, about 1956–1877 BCE

Ancient Egyptian